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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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Lawmakers inch toward special session (access required)

Lawmakers are inching closer to a special session as Senate leadership proposes that the Legislature convene to fix the budget woes of state agencies affected by the governor's veto. House leadership was polling members to see if they support the idea, Senate President Bob Burns told the Arizona Capitol Times on October 22.

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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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2008 Leaders: Where are they now?

To say that much has occurred since the 2008 Leaders of the Year in Public Policy Awards event is quite an understatement. An economic meltdown leading to a near-depression, the election of the first African-American to the U.S. presidency, a changing of the guard in the Executive Tower and chaos in the Legislature while attempting to deal with Arizona's worst budget deficit ever are just a few of the tumultuous events that mark the past 12 months

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Capitol Quotes 9/18 (access required)

"Give me a break. You've been around long enough to know that people, sometimes after six months that they're on the Ninth Floor, they're on their way." - Gov. Jan Brewer, dismissing the notion the recent departures of deputy chiefs of staff Tom Manos and Brian McNeil are signs that her administration is in trouble.

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A third of Senate to say goodbye in 2010 (access required)

A controversial constitutional amendment that limits the length of time that lawmakers can stay in office will force more than one-third of the senators out of their chamber by the end of next year, a massive revamp unprecedented in recent years.

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