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Special session: Day 4 (access required)

The House Feb. 8 approved two more measures aimed at filling in a $1.4 billion deficit this year and paving the way to bridge a substantially larger shortfall in the upcoming year, but two more bills still await action.

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Braswell assumes Senate seat

Residents from Legislative District 6 have a new senator. David Braswell, chairman of the district's Republican Party, formally assumed office after a brief swearing-in ceremony on the Senate floor on Feb. 6.

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Passing the buck: Local governments’ worst budget fears  (access required)

Local government is usually the last place the Legislature looks to find extra money, but the state budget deficit has forced lawmakers to take desperate steps. This year and last, cities and counties have been forced to pay bills that historically have been the state's responsibility. During the past year, lawmakers have taken money that was intended to pay for local services, limited cities' ability to collect fees, and hoisted new burdens onto the shoulders of city officials who are trying to overcome the same economic conditions that ravaged two consecutive state budgets.

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Harper: Tolerating gays in military a mistake

Sen. Jack Harper stood up during a discussion on the Senate floor to explain that it was a mistake for President Obama to advocate for changes to the "Don't ask, don't tell" directive that has kept gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military.

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