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Tide changing in Arizona’s immigration politics (access required)

(From left) Former Sen. Russell Pearce, Rep. Steve Smith, Sen. Al Melvin, Rep. Ruben Gallego, President Barack Obama (File photos)

At the recent Republican statewide meeting in a north central Phoenix church, pews were packed with party loyalists listening to elected officials speak about issues facing the state and the nation.

But the topic that would have dominated the conversation in past years — illegal immigration — was scarcely mentioned.

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Arizona to tax hospitals to pay for Medicaid

hospital-money

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has built a political career in standing up to the federal government over everything from immigration to health care. So she surprised almost everyone when she announced last week that she not only plans to push for an expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the federal health care law — she plans to fund it by raising taxes.

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