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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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Health Dept. outlines cuts to non-mandated services (access required)

With much of its budget locked in by federal and state mandates, the Arizona Department of Health Services would have to reduce crisis services and cut back on treatment for the mentally ill, substance abusers and sexually violent offenders in the state hospital if it had to chop 15 percent from its budget.

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Brewer: multiple special sessions possible (access required)

The off-season for lawmakers might be even shorter than they thought. Since Gov. Jan Brewer partially vetoed the Legislature’s budget in early September, she has been adamant about the need to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session to restore funding for a handful of state agencies, including the Arizona Corporation Commission and Department of Revenue.

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Symington bows out, backs Munger for governor

Fife Symington isn’t getting back into the gubernatorial arena. Instead, he said, the former governor is running vicariously through his friend John Munger. Symington on Oct. 8 announced that he is endorsing Munger, who recently filed to run for the ...

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Brewer hopes showing impact of cuts will spur revenue increase (access required)

At Brewer’s request, all state agency heads were required to submit reports detailing the effects 15-20 percent spending reductions would have on their departments. Those reports, which were due Oct. 9, are intended partly to demonstrate to the Legislature that sizeable cuts would have dramatic consequences, according to Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman.

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