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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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Gambling pitched as Arizona’s budget salvation (access required)

The struggling Arizona racing industry is hoping it can sell lawmakers on a proposal to help racetracks stay open and give the state hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. But the idea faces resistance on several fronts, as it would expand gambling by allowing "racinos" and by lifting limits on tribal casinos.

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Education funding battle heats up (access required)

Lawmakers and representatives from the education community clashed over funding for Arizona's public education during a forum Oct. 20 at a downtown restaurant. Rep. Rich Crandall, a Mesa Republican, said he was taking the position as a "realist" and warned that cuts to education are inevitable next year given the size of the state's budget deficit.

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Capitol Quotes 9/25 (access required)

"It's too much money. It's so beyond the market price. I've never heard of an amount like that at this level. It would be a waste, or just dumb." - Constantin Querard, testifying Sept. 21 in support of Rep. Doug Quelland's appeal of a Citizens Clean Elections Commission ruling earlier this year. Querard was referring to $15,000 contract Quelland signed for political consulting.

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Brewer’s bill signings overshadowed by tax plan? (access required)

Considering the internecine warfare that has been the hallmark of Jan Brewer’s tenure as governor, some Republicans may have been tempted to forget why they were so happy when Janet Napolitano left. But one look at the scores of conservative bills Brewer signed may be enough to jog their memories.

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New law expands religious expression in schools (access required)

Sen. Linda Gray often cites "The New England Primer" while delivering speeches on the Senate floor. In a committee hearing June 10, the Glendale Republican read an excerpt: "I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of heaven and Earth, and in Jesus his only Son our Lord, which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried." Gray was trying to make a point.

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Capitol Quotes 5/29

“I want you to know that the events that led to Kerry’s death are very rare, and that she would not want you to worry. Hug your family and cherish the miracle of life, but don’t worry.” — State Treasurer ...

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House panel advances latest budget fix, filling $650M gap (access required)

Lawmakers on a House panel generally agreed an emergency measure intended to repair the fiscal 2009 budget amounts to bad policy, but the bill still managed to gain approval along a party-line vote. One by one, legislators explained their objection to using accounting gimmicks and raiding funding in schools' bank accounts.

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