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IRC approves final maps amid clashes (access required)

The members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission spent their final mapmaking meeting the same way they’ve spent most of the past nine months – arguing, sniping at each other and lobbing accusations across the aisle.

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Q&A with Gov. Jan Brewer (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer has never had a legislative session like this.

After three years of fiscal crises and emergency budget fixes, Brewer went into the 2012 legislative session with a projected surplus. The biggest budget problem Brewer faces now is what to do with as much as $1.5 billion in extra revenue.

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Q&A with House Speaker Andy Tobin (access required)

The timing for Andy Tobin’s ascension to speaker of the House was pretty favorable. The state is beginning to see an uptick in revenues due to a recovering economy, so the battle over the budget is likely to be less adversarial this session than it was in previous years.

But Tobin cautions against anyone getting the impression that the state has money to burn. As long as the state has debt to pay off, he said he doesn’t think that the unexpected revenue should be seen as a surplus.

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Governor, lawmakers will need to reconcile budget estimates (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer today laid out her spending plan, but before she can hammer out a deal with lawmakers, the two sides will have to reconcile their revenue projections for the next few years.

Right now, their only clear agreement is that, barring another economic downturn and events beyond the state’s control, revenues will climb steadily, albeit slowly.

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3 Sinema replacement candidates selected (access required)

Democrats from Phoenix picked two former lawmakers and one other as candidates to replace former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who resigned her Legislative District 15 seat Jan. 3 to run for Congress.

A panel from Sinema’s district selected former Rep. David Lujan, who actually served with Sinema while she was in the House, former Rep. Ken Clark, a realtor, and Arizona Democratic Party Secretary Sharon Thomas, as potential replacements.

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