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Billion-dollar deficits to plague Ariz. through 2013 (access required)

Most states are swimming in red ink, but Arizona is on the verge of drowning in it. Federal stimulus dollars intended to prop up government revenues and help states weather the economic storm have been spent, and the Grand Canyon State is facing deficits that could reach $3 billion in each of the next three years.

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Lawmakers from both parties criticize Brewer’s budget action (access required)

The governor’s actions on the state budget drew jeers from both Republicans and Democrats, but for wildly different reasons. House Speaker Kirk Adams and Senate President Bob Burns, both Republicans, said Gov. Jan Brewer increased state spending by more than $350 million with her line-item-vetoes of cuts to K-12 education and the Department of Economic Security, which provides benefits for Arizona’s poor.

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Proposed sales tax hike blocks budget deal (access required)

With the clock ticking, lawmakers and the governor held a series of closed-door meetings leading up to the Sept. 5 deadline for action on a slate of budget bills. But the negotiations did not produce the outcome Gov. Jan Brewer had desired - a bipartisan coalition of support for a special election to temporarily raise the sales tax to help balance the budget.

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Capitol Quotes 9/3 (access required)

“The governor can’t claim the mantle of strong leadership, that’s for sure.” - Rep. Sam Crump, a Republican from Anthem, speaking Sept. 3 about Gov. Jan Brewer’s inability to get her sales tax special election approved by lawmakers. “Two of ...

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Resigning to ignore the law

In the latest chapter of who may or may not be violating the state's murky resign to run law, it seems at least one legislator didn't know the law even existed. Rep. Ray Barnes, termed out in the House next year, has already formed a Senate campaign committee: not an exploratory committee - a committee.

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Five-party talks in peril

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema spoke to our reporter at the conclusion of today's five-party talks. "I'm not sure there's going to be any more of those meetings," she said. She identified the repeal of the equalization tax as the biggest obstacle. She said Republicans "won't budge" on reinstating the tax...

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