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UpClose with Gov. Jan Brewer: Touts openness, says vetoes represent decision not to ‘blow a hole’ in budget (access required)

After two chaotic legislative sessions, things settled down a bit for Gov. Jan Brewer in 2011.

Having won an overwhelming voter mandate in November, Brewer no longer was the governor who simply inherited the job. And with her hard-fought battle for a sales tax increase won, she was no longer the Republican governor who spent most of her time feuding with her own party.

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Distractions? Yes. Distracted? Probably not too much

Every circus has its sideshows. And this year, the state Capitol was crawling with them. 

For the first time in more than a decade, lawmakers wrapped up their work in 100 days. And they did so in spite of distractions that came in the form of a roadside fracas that cost a Republican leader his post, a college football scandal that ensnared more than a dozen elected officials and a tragic shooting days before the session began that cast a pall over the entire process.

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Competitiveness advocates launch online mapping tool for public (access required)

Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission system was established in 2000 to bring transparency and accountability to what had traditionally been a behind-closed-doors process, and to eliminate the incentive to protect incumbent lawmakers’ election odds using creative line drawing.

Now, two former state lawmakers are spearheading a campaign that uses online software to up the ante.

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Tobin picked as new Arizona House speaker

Andy Tobin has been unanimously elected to be the new speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives as the former speaker.

He replaces Kirk Adams, who stepped down as speaker in advance of his resignation from the Legislature. Adams and his aides have not said why he is leaving, but he is widely expected to run for Congress.

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