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Proposed sales tax hike blocks budget deal (access required)

With the clock ticking, lawmakers and the governor held a series of closed-door meetings leading up to the Sept. 5 deadline for action on a slate of budget bills. But the negotiations did not produce the outcome Gov. Jan Brewer had desired - a bipartisan coalition of support for a special election to temporarily raise the sales tax to help balance the budget.

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DPS relies on loans; money needed by Sept. 11 (access required)

In two weeks, Highway Patrol cars could be sitting empty in government parking lots and the state crime lab could be bereft of forensic criminologists if Gov. Jan Brewer doesn't sign a budget bill nearly identical to one she vetoed nearly two months ago.

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