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Lawmakers spar over sweeping anti-abortion bill

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate sparred Thursday over sweeping anti-abortion legislation that generally bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and institutes new disclosure requirements, including one that requires women to look at a state-run website with images of fetuses at two-week intervals.

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Volunteer strike force on border gets Senate OK (access required)

A senator who believes Middle-Eastern terrorist groups are active in Mexico and Central America persuaded her colleagues to advance a proposal that would create an armed volunteer force to help apprehend criminals who illegally enter the United States.

The Senate passed the measure today by a vote of 20-10.

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Democrats call on one of their own to resign (access required)

Democrats in the House and Senate are calling for one of their own to step down amid allegations of domestic violence.

Rep. Daniel Patterson’s former live-in girlfriend and campaign manager was granted an order of protection against him on Friday, liberal blog Three Sonorans reported yesterday.

Perhaps in an attempt to avoid another drawn-out saga like the one after former Sen. Scott Bundgaard was faced with similar allegations, House Democrats acted swiftly, calling on their colleague to resign.

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Union dues ban advances, but other bills appear to stall (access required)

A proposal to outlaw automatic salary deductions for public union dues – unless workers expressly authorize them annually – survived a vigorous Senate debate on Thursday, and was passed by a vote of 19-11.

The bill, championed by Senate Majority Leader Andy Biggs, is headed for the House for further action, but other measures that would fundamentally weaken public unions in Arizona have yet to be calendared for a debate.

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