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Barnes’ comments take a turn for the weird

While the Senate barely said a word about the budget bills, the House spent more than an hour debating their merits when they came up for a vote Nov. 23. It was a strikingly partisan debate on spending cuts to education and social services. At times it was adversarial. At other times it was just strange.

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Tracking the special session (access required)

Click here for up-to-the-minute updates on the Legislature's fourth special session. Our reporters will be at the Capitol all day (or all week, if it comes to that), tracking the progress of the four pieces of legislation in the House and Senate.

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Draft bills show special session cuts of $300M (access required)

Draft versions of the bills lawmakers are expected to consider this week in a special legislative session show about $300 million in spending cuts to education and social services, as well as the restoration of funding for high-tech economic development.

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Department of Revenue puts layoff plan on hold

Gambling that Arizona lawmakers will approve its funding in time, the state tax collection agency is shelving plans to lay off more than half its staff early this month. After Gov. Jan Brewer's vetoed some of the Department of Revenue's funding in September to kill an unrelated provision of the same bill, Director Gale Garriott said the department would probably have to lay off 450 of its 710 workers in November.

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Arizona leaders to tackle budget at 95th Town Hall at Grand Canyon

More than 100 Arizona leaders will meet in Grand Canyon Village on Nov. 1-4, as part of the 95th Arizona Town Hall meeting, focusing on the fiscal problems of the state. The meeting, entitled "Riding the Fiscal Roller Coaster: Government Revenue in Arizona," is hosted by the Arizona Town Hall nonprofit organization, which organizes the event biannually.

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