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Hotly debated firearms bill goes to the governor (access required)

A bill headed to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk would close a loophole used by some Arizona cities to destroy firearms turned over to police and other state agencies. The Arizona Senate approved HB2455, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, by an 18-12 vote Tuesday afternoon, giving its final approval to a measure that also requires agencies to sell all unclaimed firearms in their possession.

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Judge halts pay for police officers doing union work (access required)

In its fight to curb the influence of public unions, the Goldwater Institute has persuaded a judge to temporarily block Phoenix’s practice of paying police officers to perform union work.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled today that the practice known as “release time” likely violates the Arizona Constitution’s “gift clause,” which prohibits government from donating to private entities.

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Anti-union bills being parceled out to gain success (access required)

Backers of anti-union bills are planning to parcel out the provisions of a measure that is advancing in the Senate, an apparent move to give each idea the best chance of passing. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to prohibit pay to public employees who do union activities, a practice called “release time.”

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Corp. Comm. barred from adopting more stringent renewable energy standards

A panel of senators today approved legislation to bar the Arizona Corporation Commission from adopting renewable energy standards that are more stringent than what is currently in place. Many consider the bill an attempt by lawmakers to assert control over the state’s energy policy, but critics said it infringes on the commission’s constitutional authority to set rates for public utility companies.

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