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Media coverage at Capitol gets more difficult  (access required)

A room that for the past 30 years has hummed with the staccato typing on keyboards as reporters scurried to meet deadlines has been refurbished and hollowed out to accommodate rows of chairs and a large conference table. And the room is no longer a media headquarters; instead it be used by Senate Republicans to hold caucus meetings.

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Burns removes two from Senate Approps   (access required)

Senate President Bob Burns has reduced the size of the Senate Appropriations Committee to 9 from 11 members, removing Sen. John Huppenthal and Sen. Albert Hale. Huppenthal, a Chandler Republican, was appointed temporarily to the committee last year to replace Sen. Pamela Gorman. He requested to be removed for the 2010 session.

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Burns dissolves Gould’s committee (access required)

Senate President Bob Burns terminated a committee chaired by Sen. Ron Gould, a Republican from Lake Havasu City, on Dec. 10. Gould later told the Arizona Capitol Times he has been stripped of his committee chairmanship. Gould has been chairman of the Senate Retirement and Rural Development Committee.

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Burns says strategy worked, but he won’t block non-budget bills in 2010 (access required)

Senate President Bob Burns has decided to avoid the failed budget-first strategy that locked up his chamber last session and led to an unhinged, last-minute push to pass hundreds of non-budget bills. What he has in mind for the 2010 session is, in some ways, back to the basics. Most committees, for instance, will be free to debate and vote on legislation unrelated to the budget.

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Budget bill fails in Senate; Verschoor AWOL (access required)

The Senate has hit a major snag and has failed to pass the main budget measure that is part of a package that partially fixes a $2-billion deficit, and it has adjourned until Nov. 23. The bill went down by a vote of 14-13. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray voted "no" so he could bring the vote up for reconsideration later. All the Democrats voted "no" on the bill. So did Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu Republican.

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