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Brewer kicks off ornament drive for Arizona Christmas tree headed to Washington

This year's Christmas tree in front of the U.S. Capitol will have a little Arizona sunshine thanks to Daniela Nunez. A fourth-grader at Moon Mountain Elementary School, Nunez fashioned an orange, yellow and red foam sun as Gov. Jan Brewer visited her art class Thursday, kicking off an effort to have schoolchildren produce ornaments for an Arizona blue spruce that's heading to Washington.

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Pierce to Brewer; Brewer to Dems

Reached by phone, Sen. Steve Pierce reiterated to our reporter today his position that Gov. Jan Brewer should sign the budget that's on her desk. "I've given her my word I would continue to work towards it [the sales tax referral], and in the meantime, she should sign the budget that's there and let the state operate like it should," Pierce said.

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Pie in the sky?

It seems everyone who is involved in the five -party talks is maintaining a very effective press silence. Much of the information about the meetings comes second- or third-hand from lawmakers who talk with or are briefed by one of the principals.

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Lawmakers adjourn sine die; questions loom (access required)

The Arizona Legislature ended its special legislative session at 1:42 p.m. Aug. 25, although it may be a short-lived break from the Capitol. "Well, I'll see you next week," Rep. Warde Nichols, a Gilbert Republican, said as he prepared to leave the House of Representatives.

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AZ Land Department will be self-funded (access required)

The one budget bill that garnered a signature from Gov. Jan Brewer would fundamentally change the way the state Land Department is funded. Brewer on Aug. 21 signed H2014, which creates a self-funding mechanism for the Land Department and addresses issues at the Parks Department, the Department of Agriculture and other agencies.

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Five-way talks unproductive so far (access required)

Republican and Democratic leaders met with Gov. Jan Brewer on Aug. 21, the first such meeting during the special session that the governor called in order for the Legislature to pass a budget packet that includes her proposal for a sales tax referral.

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From the cheap seats

Lobbyists and other interested observers are all speculating on what Gov. Jan Brewer might do. One onlooker, who asked not to be identified, said the Governor's Office, in particular, is keeping mum: "Even the [staffers] who will say, ‘Hello,' to you are choosing not to say anything.

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