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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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House panel approves budget-fix bills (access required)

A House panel followed the Senate's lead, quickly approving a series of budget bills aimed at chipping away at the state's massive deficit. The bills include $300 million in cuts to social programs and state aid for education.

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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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