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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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When the offer’s off

After the bills passed, Sen. Albert Hale complained that he and the Republicans were in the middle of negotiations when leadership decided to go ahead and vote the bill out, presumably since they already had Sen. Thayer Verschoor's vote. The move doesn't bode well for future negotiations, Hale said.

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Capitol Quotes 11/20

"This state is in crisis and it is very disappointing and frankly embarrassing that one member of our caucus did not have the decency to show up. I left the floor open to give him every opportunity to do the right thing." - Senate President Bob Burns, noting in a media release that he is disappointed that Sen. Thayer Verschoor was absent from the floor during the final Senate vote on budget bills.

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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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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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