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Republican budget talks moving again (access required)

Gov. Jan Brewer and legislative leaders resumed talks on the budget Thursday, three days after the governor told them to stop sending her bills until they get the state’s spending plan completed.

The meeting seemed to reaffirm the two sides’ commitment to negotiate the state budget within the Republican Party. The meeting came as some GOP lawmakers considered the possibility of joining with Democrats to pass a veto-proof budget.

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Republicans mulling Dem alliance after veto threat

After weeks of budget talks with no agreement in sight, Gov. Jan Brewer gave legislative leaders an ultimatum, telling them she would veto bills until work on the state’s spending plan is complete.

But rather than force a quicker budget resolution, it could result in more heartburn between the two sides. In fact, there were indications some Republicans might be taking a look at abandoning negotiations with the governor in favor of working with Democrats to ensure a veto-proof super majority behind a budget.

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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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Brewer places moratorium on bills until budget done

Talks on the budget may be on the verge of breaking down, as Gov. Jan Brewer today told Republican legislative leaders that she will not sign any more bills until the budget is done.

Republican lawmakers and Brewer have been at loggerheads over a budget deal all session. The governor called for increased spending in education and some social programs, but Republicans have said she wants to spend too much money.

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Legislature on verge of missing session adjournment goal

A year ago, the Arizona Legislature was just days away from adjournment of its annual legislative session, having already approved a state budget that included painful cuts to state services. But while lawmakers missed their self-imposed 2011 adjournment target of 100 days by just five hours, there's little chance the Legislature will come near as close this year.

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Pierce says contraception bill probably not coming back (access required)

Senate President Steve Pierce doesn’t think legislation allowing employers with religious objection to deny contraception coverage to workers will return for a second vote. Pierce previously indicated he was willing to cast the required 16th “yes” vote to pass the bill last week if supporters could get 15 senators to support the bill.

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Border Bound: Immigration hawks take battle south — push for fence, militia

During the past several years, the Republican-led Legislature has passed some of the county’s toughest laws aimed at driving illegal immigrants from the state and deterring them from entering it. For the most part, those laws have focused on enforcement within the state’s boundaries.

Now the strategy has shifted, and immigration hawks in the Legislature are taking their fight directly to the border.

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