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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O Arizona: Legislature Pulls an All Nighter

The Legislature early Wednesday completed action on nine budget bills to implement most of a compromise $8.4 billion budget negotiated with Gov. Jan Brewer, whose administration told state employees to report to work as scheduled though she hadn't yet received the bills or acted on them.

Lawmakers omitted a sales tax increase that Brewer demanded to help protect important services from damaging cuts.

The lack of an approved budget before the new fiscal year began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday had raised concerns about a possible state government shutdown. Legislature did not finish approving the budget bills until shortly before 3 a.m.

Lawmakers then delayed sending of the budgets for several hours so they would go to Brewer with nearly all other legislation approved by lawmakers during their 2009 session.

A notice posted on the Department of Administration's Web site at 5:30 a.m. said Brewer was "anxiously awaiting the budget bills" and that she "will act to continue state operations."

The Senate approved the bills shortly before 3 a.m., about three hours after the House's action just before midnight Tuesday. The bills modify a legislative budget approved June 4 but not sent to Brewer. Those bills also were being sent to Brewer on Wednesday.

link: Legislature Wraps Up Session - Politics News Story - KPHO Phoenix


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