After policymakers borrowed heavily to keep government afloat amid a festering fiscal crisis that blew holes in the state’s budget for four years, a former Senate president tried to put into place a mechanism to rein in politicians’ appetite for debt-financing.Read More »
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In his first real test in his new role, House Speaker Andy Tobin found himself battling Gov. Jan Brewer.
Six weeks after being chosen by his caucus, Tobin and Brewer squared off over an extension of unemployment insurance: Brewer wanted to extend the benefits by 20 weeks and make some limited reforms, while Tobin publicly challenged her to expand the special session to include corporate tax cuts and incentives aimed at stimulating job creation.
After back-to-back legislative sessions in which Gov. Jan Brewer and GOP lawmakers appeared to put their differences behind them, work as a team and strive for a common agenda, the failed special session on unemployment benefits threatens to poison a relationship that has already seen its share of discord.Read More »
By the time Republicans called it a day, it almost seemed like a textbook case of what to do — if you don’t want a special session to succeed.Read More »
Keep to the right: Does tea party politics mean yesterday’s conservative is today’s moderate — or a statesman?
Months after the red wave from last November, with the tea party gaining steam both in the streets and at the Capitol, some veteran conservative legislators are doing a double-take at where they now stand in their caucuses.
And for some, having a party morph around them, and seeing perceptions shift from “staunch conservative” to “moderate statesman” isn’t necessarily a welcome change.
Lawmakers enjoyed the relative shortness of their 100-day session, but they may pay for the handful of issues they left unaddressed with one or more special sessions.
Unemployment benefits, tax code changes and Gov. Jan Brewer’s personnel reform plan could bring legislators back to the Capitol.
The January shooting in Tucson, which occurred just two days before the 2011 legislative session began, inspired soul searching among rattled and emotional lawmakers, who pledged a new era of civility across the partisan divide. Others vowed drastic changes to Arizona’s laws on guns and mental health in response to a mass shooting carried out by a man with documented-but-untreated mental health problems.
But while some lawmakers say the lessons of Jan. 8 stayed with them through sine die, most have seen few changes.
Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commissioners split along party lines Friday over who will serve as the group’s legal counsel, with the commission’s independent chair siding with the Democrats to select the firms Ballard Spahr and Osborn Maledon.Read More »
After two years of intraparty fighting, drama and chaos, 2011 must have been a welcome relief for Gov. Jan Brewer.Read More »
Lacking the numbers to block Republican-backed bills, Democratic legislators billed themselves as watchdogs whose main task at the Capitol was to highlight legislation they considered to be harmful to the state.Read More »