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Cost-benefit study of prisons late, but state going ahead with 5,000 more private beds  (access required)

The Department of Corrections has long been out of compliance with a law requiring the director to complete a cost-benefit analysis comparing private and state-run prisons every two years. 

DOC Director Charles Ryan, who took over the job in January 2009, said he started working on his analysis a few months ago. 

But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell insists that’s not good enough. 

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GOP gun raffle in Giffords’ district still on; Dems outraged (access required)

After a day of outrage from Arizona Democrats over a Pima County Republican Party raffle for a Glock handgun – the brand used in the assassination attempt of Tucson Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said he will ask every member of the Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer to sign a letter asking the party to cancel the fundraiser.

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Specialty license plates run amok (access required)

If a cactus and sunset don’t suit a driver, Arizonans can now opt for one of the 49 specialty plates when they register their cars.

But some call the numerous specialty plates, including the ironic Tea Party plate and one for the embattled Phoenix Coyotes, a threat to public safety and private groups using the government to pad their bottom lines.

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Lawmakers’ voting participation remains high in shorter session

Records from the past three legislative sessions point to a simple truism of the citizen-legislature model: The shorter the session, the better the attendance.

By keeping a 100-day session — the length prescribed by legislative rules — 27 of the Legislature’s 90 members voted on every bill that was brought to the floor, and only one lawmaker missed more than 20 percent of floor votes.

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UpClose with Chad Campbell: House Dems strive for transparency, cite ‘broken’ budget process

With a mere third of the House of Representatives being Democrats, Minority Leader Chad Campbell knew it was going to be an uphill battle trying to put a dent in the Republicans’ agenda this past session.

Predictably, the Democrats couldn’t get their proposals for tax reforms into the budget, nor could they stop a torrent of conservative legislation. But Campbell said that they did manage to get some of their goals accomplished, even if it was just keeping the public eye on the Legislature.

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