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Brewer State of State: A focus on history, but emphasizes conservative agenda

Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State address was light on details and big on broad outlines as she focused more on Arizona’s centennial celebration and the accomplishments of her administration, but she made it clear that 2012 will be a year of furthering a conservative agenda across a broad spectrum of state government.

Brewer vowed an expansion of school choice, the continued cutting of taxes and regulations, an overhaul of the state’s personnel system and continued defiance of federal policies on border security, health care and land management.

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Bill to block casino could increase water rates

If U.S. Congressman Trent Franks’ H.R. 2938 (Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act) passes, Arizonans’ water bills may increase again. But his bill isn’t actually about water at all. The bill was submitted to prevent construction of a casino on a strip of land between Peoria and Glendale. The 25-year-old government treaty with the Tohono O’odham Nation allows the tribe to acquire land to replace the part of its reservation that was flooded due to construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. In the deal, the tribe also surrendered its rights to 32,000 acre-feet of water each year.

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Bitter Smith eying ACC seat

The first Republican challenger to the Democrats’ “Solar Team” emerged Monday as Scottsdale Republican Susan Bitter Smith filed an exploratory committee for the Arizona Corporation Commission.

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Not a drop to spare

The 100th anniversary of Salt River Project’s Theodore Roosevelt Dam this month put the exclamation point on how important effective water management is to life in the Valley of the Sun.

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