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When the offer’s off

After the bills passed, Sen. Albert Hale complained that he and the Republicans were in the middle of negotiations when leadership decided to go ahead and vote the bill out, presumably since they already had Sen. Thayer Verschoor's vote. The move doesn't bode well for future negotiations, Hale said.

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Budget bill fails in Senate; Verschoor AWOL (access required)

The Senate has hit a major snag and has failed to pass the main budget measure that is part of a package that partially fixes a $2-billion deficit, and it has adjourned until Nov. 23. The bill went down by a vote of 14-13. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Gray voted "no" so he could bring the vote up for reconsideration later. All the Democrats voted "no" on the bill. So did Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu Republican.

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Special session kicks off, but most work slated for Thursday (access required)

Lawmakers officially kicked off the fourth special session of the year - the second devoted to the fiscal 2010 budget - with an uneventful gathering at the state Capitol on Nov. 17. The work on taking a small bite out of the state's $2 billion budget deficit will take place on Nov. 19, when House and Senate budget committees are expected to meet.

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UpClose with Thayer Verschoor (access required)

Sen. Thayer Verschoor, a Republican from Gilbert, returned to the Senate after a tough primary last year. One of the most conservative members of the Legislature, he fought hard for the repeal of the state equalization property tax. That battle was lost this year after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill carrying the repeal language.

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Sen. Melvin focuses on nuclear power at panel hearing (access required)

As the energy debate heats up in the nation's capital, policymakers in Arizona have begun asking questions about the implications of cap-and-trade legislation and other climate initiatives for the state. For the second time in a month, legislators held a hearing on energy policy, specifically on what the state's energy future would look like. At least two more hearings are scheduled.

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