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A taste of what’s to come

Brewer didn’t offer a lot of specifics, but she was clear-eyed about two policy items she will pursue this session: money for K-12 education and simplifying the state’s sales tax system. Brewer was the main speaker at today’s annual legislative forecast luncheon organized by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

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Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

With a fiscal crisis that forced billions of dollars in state government cuts mainly over, the Arizona Legislature enters its 2013 session Monday with a budget surplus but little appetite among majority Republicans to loosen the purse strings. The state has socked away about $450 million in a rainy day fund and has more than $1 billion in total surplus going into the budget year that begins July 1.

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Campbell offers comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence (access required)

Campbell offers comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell’s ideas for preventing a mass school shooting in Arizona include more cops in schools, more money pumped into the public-health system and stricter gun laws.

With a school resource officer and an award winning school counselor to help him make his case at a Jan. 9 press conference, Campbell said the cost of his 12-point plan would be $261 million. That would come from cutting a prized school-choice program favored by Republicans - the School Tuition Organization tax credit – as well as changes to tax laws and money from a $676 million budget surplus.

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Wild West moments of 2012 (access required)

Wild West moments of 2012 <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

While the mood at the state Capitol this past year might be best described as riotous, 2012 — the Chinese Year of the Dragon — was marked with fewer gaffes, catfights and over-the-top name calling among Arizona’s political elite.

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