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Foreclosure law on track for repeal – again (access required)

It's back to square one for the Arizona Bankers Association. A tenuous deal to alter Arizona laws that govern home foreclosures was struck down by lawmakers on Nov. 18 after objections were raised by the homebuilding industry. The agreement had been struck by the Bankers Association and the Arizona Association of Realtors.

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Senate Appropriations panel approves bills (access required)

The budget fix to eliminate a portion of the state's $2 billion deficit is moving through Senate committees while the House is on hold until Nov. 19. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four bills after a relatively short deliberation on Nov. 18. Some of the bills received bipartisan support.

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Counting votes

Without Democratic support, Senate Republicans will be counting on every GOP vote they can muster. Sen. Barbara Leff is out of town and Sen. Ron Gould is a "no." That means Senate leadership will need the vote of everyone else in the caucus...

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Schapira to run for Senate; Arredondo to run for House (access required)

A longtime Tempe city councilor is switching parties to run for the state House as a Democrat after a veteran legislator announces her retirement. Ben Arredondo, who has served on the Tempe City Council since 1994, will announce his candidacy for the District 17 House seat. The move was prompted by Sen. Meg Burton-Cahill's retirement announcement, which came at a Capitol press conference on Nov. 17.

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Melvin says he has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Sen. Al Melvin, a Tucson Republican, disclosed Nov. 9 that he has been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Melvin said the disease is not interfering with his work and he expects a full recovery. Melvin, in fact, has been holding hearings on energy and water during the past several weeks. He said he was lucky it was detected early.

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No moratorium, Senate to hear bills early in session (access required)

The Senate is going to hear bills when session starts, Senate President Bob Burns said Oct. 29. This is a departure from the strategy the Senate leadership adopted during the most recent regular session, when a moratorium on hearing non-budget bills was used so lawmakers could direct all their energy to solving the state's record-breaking budget deficit.

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Diminished debate: Limits on floor discussion put Senate in quandary (access required)

In the Arizona Legislature, debate usually refers to the Committee of the Whole, a crucial part of lawmaking that facilitates adjustments to legislation. More importantly for some, it is the last chance to thoroughly examine proposed legislation and to sway people's opinion for or against it. In most cases, emotions are checked and the tone is primarily civil. But in the last two years, senators have adopted temporary rules to limit debate during the Committee of the Whole so debate is now but a shadow of its dictionary meaning. In short, the limitation on debate happened when lawmakers discussed subjects that directly impacted the state during a crucial part of the budget process.

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