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Lawmakers take a tumultuous path to a state spending plan (access required)

This year's state budget took a tumultuous path, pitting Republicans against each other, trying the patience of Democrats, leaving outside observers in the dark and breaking nearly every possible protocol before ending up on the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer. This was clearly nothing anybody learned in a high school civics class.

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Medicaid foes launch effort to repeal expansion

Gov. Jan Brewer holds the newly signed Medicaid expansion bill as the bipartisan coalition of supporters who helped pass the bill applaud at the June 17 bill signing. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

The citizen referendum against Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion has begun.

The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives, which is headed up by former Sens. Frank Antenori and Ron Gould, took out petitions for a citizen referendum this morning at the Secretary of State’s Office in Tucson. The group has until Sept. 11 to collect 86,405 valid signatures to refer Brewer’s expansion plan to the November 2014 ballot.

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Senate passes Medicaid expansion, sending it to the governor (access required)

Republican Sens. Adam Driggs (left) and Bob Worsley huddle in conversation after the final vote to pass Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

The state Senate approved Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan on an 18-11 vote this afternoon, sending it to the governor for her signature.

The Senate's approval of Medicaid and a state budget occurred after the House of Representatives worked into the early morning hours to approve the budget and Medicaid plan, with supporters giving opponents the silent treatment through the entire discussion of the $8.8 billion budget.

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Arizona House passes school bonds bill

Arizona lawmakers have slashed $1 billion from public education dollars in recent years and gone to court to avoid mandatory increases in school funding. Now they want taxpayers to directly cover the costs of new construction, repairs, equipment and school buses.

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