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Pearce drops “omnibus” immigration bill

Although he calls it a mere “clean-up bill,” Senate President Russell Pearce is pushing legislation to tighten immigration laws by denying illegal immigrants access to public benefits, from operating or titling vehicles to enrolling in community colleges.

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Gray announces run for Flake’s House seat

Another domino from Sen. Jon Kyl’s retirement announcement last week fell Feb. 17, as former state Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray announced he is running for Congress to replace Jeff Flake, who on Feb. 14 said he is entering the Senate race.

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Schapira chooses McNulty to fill fourth IRC seat (access required)

Senate Minority Leader David Schapira has selected Linda McNulty to serve on the Independent Redistricting Commission, making the Pima County Democrat the fourth and final legislative appointment to the body charged with redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional districts.

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Jobs bill survives late Senate debate (access required)

Despite strong objections from Democrats and some Republicans, the Senate leadership Tuesday evening pushed ahead to debate the jobs bill, a maneuver that moves the business-tax-cutting legislation closer to passage.

Having cleared the debate, the bill now goes to the full Senate for a formal “aye” or “nay” vote, which is expected on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Whether the measure has sufficient support to pass — it needs only 16 votes — is uncertain.

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