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Gosar seeks broad support for Resolution Copper land-swap bill (access required)

It’s been almost like an annual rite since 2005. An Arizona congressman introduces a doomed bill to swap land owned by Resolution Copper for federal land beneath which sits one of the world’s largest deposits of copper.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, of Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, introduced this year’s version, which has those who have been longtime supporters of the swap optimistic.

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Fit to be tied: Republican lawmakers say Prop. 105 is too restrictive

The chorus of lawmakers calling for an overhaul of the Voter Protection Act quieted to a low murmur in 2011, but supporters say the dormant issue will be back on the Legislature’s agenda next year.

Several Republican legislators said they will revive their plans to change Proposition 105, the 1998 ballot measure that strictly limits the Legislature’s ability to tamper with voter-approved measures.

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Lawmakers’ voting participation remains high in shorter session

Records from the past three legislative sessions point to a simple truism of the citizen-legislature model: The shorter the session, the better the attendance.

By keeping a 100-day session — the length prescribed by legislative rules — 27 of the Legislature’s 90 members voted on every bill that was brought to the floor, and only one lawmaker missed more than 20 percent of floor votes.

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Few see increase in civility following Giffords’ shooting (access required)

The January shooting in Tucson, which occurred just two days before the 2011 legislative session began, inspired soul searching among rattled and emotional lawmakers, who pledged a new era of civility across the partisan divide. Others vowed drastic changes to Arizona’s laws on guns and mental health in response to a mass shooting carried out by a man with documented-but-untreated mental health problems.

But while some lawmakers say the lessons of Jan. 8 stayed with them through sine die, most have seen few changes.

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