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Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare (access required)

Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The bulk of the funding, $6.86 million, would be used to hire caseworkers and other child welfare aids in an effort to resolve the backlog of 6,554 cases that went uninvestigated by Child Protective Service, a gross oversight that caused Gov. Jan Brewer to abolish the agency at the outset of the 2014 Legislative Session in favor of a new department that reports directly to the Ninth Floor.

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Splitting the House (access required)

Splitting the House <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Shope eyes smaller districts for state representatives

Rep. T.J. Shope wants to cut Arizona’s massive House of Representatives districts in half.

The first-term lawmaker hasn’t completed his plans yet, but is strongly leaning toward a proposal that would split the House districts in half. Rather than have each legislative district elect two House members at large, Shope’s plan would create two separate House districts that would be contained within each Senate district.

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Legislature considers a new infusion of money into the IRC (access required)

Legislature considers a new infusion of money into the IRC <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Arizona lawmakers are introducing another supplemental appropriation for the Independent Redistricting Commission, providing an infusion of new funding to the maligned agency as it tries to pay its bills for the remainder of the fiscal year. The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, voted today to allow the late introduction of a bill to provide $635,226 to the commission, according to a Republican Senate staffer.

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Records show Dem connections with redistricting commissioners, but incumbent knowledge denied (access required)

Records show Dem connections with redistricting commissioners, but incumbent knowledge denied <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>


A Democratic redistricting commissioner and the Democratic party’s interim executive director denied insinuations they were part of a conspiracy to rig the state’s legislative maps. But newly released records showed party leaders and incumbent lawmakers were at least included in mapping strategy emails sent to the commissioner on his non-commission email account. And phone records show more connection than the commissioner had previously acknowledged.

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