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Lawmakers’ first duty: Show up and vote (access required)

Here’s the simple mathematics of representative government: Arizona taxpayers pay for lawmakers to show up and vote on every bill in the Legislature. Now here’s the flaw in that equation: Lawmakers get paid whether they show up or not. Unfortunately, many Arizona residents were underrepresented at the Capitol during last year’s regular legislative session.

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Capitol Quotes 12/18 (access required)

"Ron Gould has the right ideas. He thinks right. He has the right mindset, but he won't negotiate." - Senate Majority Whip Steve Pierce, in defense of Senate President Bob Burns' decision to abolish Senator Gould's Retirement and Rural Development Committee.

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Senate Appropriations panel approves bills (access required)

The budget fix to eliminate a portion of the state's $2 billion deficit is moving through Senate committees while the House is on hold until Nov. 19. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four bills after a relatively short deliberation on Nov. 18. Some of the bills received bipartisan support.

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Maybe rules were meant to be broken

Looks like both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are ignoring their own rules. Sen. Steve Pierce decided to go into executive session when the governor arrived today. "That's my prerogative to do so, and I think we will do so right now," he said...

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Some agencies avoid submitting reduction reports (access required)

When drafting reports to show the impact of 15 percent cuts to their budgets, some state agencies described how their services would be gutted. Some simply explained why such cuts aren't feasible. And others, such as the Governor's Office, which ordered the reports, don't seem to know where to even make the cuts.

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Tyne’s ouster a sign of things to come (access required)

Kevin Tyne's tenure as Gov. Jan Brewer's most loyal and trusted adviser came to an end as the governor announced that budget chief Eileen Klein would replace him as her chief of staff. Lobbyist Chuck Coughlin described the move as a "collaborative decision" between the Republican Governors Association, Brewer and Tyne that would allow Tyne to continue assisting the governor if she seeks a full term. More moves could be in store.

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