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Make yourself at home

State Sen. John Huppenthal ruffled some feathers in the state GOP and drew the ire of the Saguaro High School administration after he drilled holes in the school auditorium's wall Friday morning to hang his massive campaign banner.

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Burns removes two from Senate Approps   (access required)

Senate President Bob Burns has reduced the size of the Senate Appropriations Committee to 9 from 11 members, removing Sen. John Huppenthal and Sen. Albert Hale. Huppenthal, a Chandler Republican, was appointed temporarily to the committee last year to replace Sen. Pamela Gorman. He requested to be removed for the 2010 session.

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Capitol Quotes 12/25 (access required)

"It appears to be a flagrant abuse of power." - Felecia Rotellini, Democrat candidate for attorney general, on Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' decision to file a federal lawsuit that alleges several county judges have conspired to thwart his investigations.

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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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Diminished debate: Limits on floor discussion put Senate in quandary (access required)

In the Arizona Legislature, debate usually refers to the Committee of the Whole, a crucial part of lawmaking that facilitates adjustments to legislation. More importantly for some, it is the last chance to thoroughly examine proposed legislation and to sway people's opinion for or against it. In most cases, emotions are checked and the tone is primarily civil. But in the last two years, senators have adopted temporary rules to limit debate during the Committee of the Whole so debate is now but a shadow of its dictionary meaning. In short, the limitation on debate happened when lawmakers discussed subjects that directly impacted the state during a crucial part of the budget process.

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Capitol Quotes 8/28 (access required)

“I think everyone knows she is adamant about getting her referral.” - Senate President Bob Burns, explaining the decision to adjourn the special session and begin bipartisan talks to work out a deal that would allow Gov. Jan Brewer’s sales ...

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