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GOP lawmakers approve $8.6B spending plan (updated) (access required)

Republican leaders quickly consolidated support behind an $8.6 billion budget plan and gave it final approval today, less than a week after finally reaching a deal with Gov. Jan Brewer.

The spending plan is a product of a session-long negotiation between Brewer and legislative leaders, and the give-and-take between the two sides is palpable throughout the budget document.

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House passes narrowed-down contraception bill (access required)

State representatives today passed a scaled-back bill that would allow religious-based employers to deny contraception coverage to their workers.

The amended bill, HB2625, passed the Arizona House by a vote of 36-21, and will need to go back to the Senate for final approval there. If approved there, it will be delivered to Gov. Jan Brewer for either a signature or a veto.

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GOP leaders heeding Brewer’s veto warning

After Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday told GOP legislative leaders that she will veto any bills that land on her desk before a budget is completed, the warning is being heeded in the Senate. “I am not sending any bills to her today,” said Senate President Steve Pierce. “She asked not to. So we’re going to try and help her out and work with her.”

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