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Draft bills show special session cuts of $300M (access required)

Draft versions of the bills lawmakers are expected to consider this week in a special legislative session show about $300 million in spending cuts to education and social services, as well as the restoration of funding for high-tech economic development.

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Capitol Quotes 11/13 (access required)

"The Legislature is no longer in a position of cutting - the economy's taking care of that. The money's not there." - Senate President Bob Burns, a Republican from Peoria, speaking Nov. 12 about how the state needs to approach future budget deficits.

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GOP pushing for 1-day special session (access required)

Barring any surprises, Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to call the Legislature into special session in the next few days. But her 1-cent sales tax hike won't be on the table - at least not this time. Still up in the air is the possibility of doing a second special session, possibly in December, for another round of cuts and potentially approving revenue generating options.

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The Pulse: Oh, Christmas tree (access required)

Pretty soon folks at the state Capitol will be taking the Holiday Tree out of storage. Well, at least that's the politically correct term former Gov. Janet Napolitano gave the artificial evergreen that sits every year in the lobby of the Executive Tower at 1700 W. Washington.

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Special Session: Get ready for Thursday

Gov. Jan Brewer and GOP leaders are expected to meet this week to discuss a special session, which is still being penciled in for Nov. 17-19. House Speaker Kirk Adams and Senate President Bob Burns both told our reporter that they were speaking with members about the budget changes that would be voted on and both were upbeat about the possibility of the session happening.

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Mixed messages emerge from school override, bond votes

If there's a message in the results of this month's school bond and budget override votes, the meaning is up for wide interpretation. The approval rate for overrides and bond issues requested by school districts on Nov. 2 was lower than the five-year average, leading some to conclude that the public's willingness to pay more taxes for education has decreased.

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Will Jan get to be Jan?

Feisty. Straight. Tough. Over the last 24 hours state pollsters and Gov. Jan Brewer supporters have underlined the governor's advantages as a no-nonsense fighter ready to jump into a campaign and defend her positions.

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Brewer: Arizona needs tough leader for tough times

There is no doubt that times were tough when Jan Brewer took over as governor, and tough times call for a tough leader. That leader, Brewer said as she announced her candidacy for 2010, is her. Speaking to dozens of supporters at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa on Nov. 5, Brewer formally announced what most observers had expected for months - that she will seek a full term as governor.

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