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JLBC OKs $7M to complete parks projects

The State Parks Board, with the approval of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, released about $7 million to finish nearly completed projects that were put on hold in February. About $50 million of the parks budget was swept as part of state budget cuts and about a third of the agency was laid off, said Ellen Bilbrey, a public information officer for the Parks Board. In the process, Heritage Fund grants were suspended.

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Wanted: new revenue (access required)

Lawmakers will be facing quite the conundrum in 2010 - how to raise more revenue for the cash-strapped state without raising taxes. The Republican-led Legislature stymied attempts by Gov. Jan Brewer to put a sales tax increase on the ballot, and outright rejected the idea of passing a tax increase itself.

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Valley leaders tout study quantifying impact of tourism downturn

You don't have to work at a resort or sell souvenirs to be hurt by the downturn in Arizona's tourism industry, a group of Valley leaders said Sept. 22. "Do you know a teacher, a police officer, a firefighter, a librarian?" Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. "They're all dependent on tourism because of the sales and property tax it provides."

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