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Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare (access required)

Senate panel advances spending bills, including $6.86 million for child welfare <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The bulk of the funding, $6.86 million, would be used to hire caseworkers and other child welfare aids in an effort to resolve the backlog of 6,554 cases that went uninvestigated by Child Protective Service, a gross oversight that caused Gov. Jan Brewer to abolish the agency at the outset of the 2014 Legislative Session in favor of a new department that reports directly to the Ninth Floor.

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McComish becomes key player in Medicaid expansion drama (access required)

McComish becomes key player in Medicaid expansion drama <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Senators are prepped for a lengthy floor debate on the GOP-led budget plan and a wildly anticipated fight to add Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion proposal to the mix against the objection of most Senate Republicans.

Ten budget bills cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee, many by 6-3 party line votes, and the Rules Committee on Wednesday afternoon. That paves the way for lawmakers to take a final round of votes on the $8.89 billion spending plan Thursday.

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Brewer: Senate budget means end is near (access required)

Brewer: Senate budget means end is near <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Gov. Jan Brewer said the budget introduced today by Senate President Andy Biggs is fairly close to her own and that she has few problems with the proposal, except for one major exception – it doesn’t include the expansion of Arizona’s Medicaid program.

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Brewer sales tax overhaul moving in Senate

Brewer sales tax overhaul moving in Senate

Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed overhaul of the state's complex sales tax collection system is moving forward in the Senate, even as negotiations continue to change it to allay fears from cities and towns and some lawmakers express concern it is too sweeping to be accomplished in one session.

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