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AZ Week Notebook


The Arizona Senate and House Appropriations Committees have passed identical bills for an $8.8 million state budget for fiscal 2012-13. The plan does not include several hundred million dollars in enhancements sought by Gov. Jan Brewer.

On Friday's Arizona Week, we will review the situation, in interviews with the governor's budget director, John Arnold, and state Senate President Steve Pierce. Legislative reporters Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic and Luige del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times will comment on and analyze the situation.

Brewer proposed a budget that would increase spending slightly from the current fiscal year after revenue numbers began coming in stronger than projected.

Her proposal would provide $100 million in capital spending for K-12, a category of spending that the state has largely ignored for a few years as school facilities age and crumble.

She also calls for $50 million for adding maximum-security prison beds and staffing, $7 million for tourism promotion and $10 million for community college scholarships.

The GOP leadership has pushed a budget that excludes those items. It does include a $3.7 million allocation for increased mental health care and a $250 million rainy day fund.

Some rank-and-file Republicans are saying they aren't entirely happy with the committee-passed proposal. They and leadership note that the committee passage is a starting point for negotiating.

Arizona Budget Director John Arnold Gov Jan Brewer Senate President Steve Pierce,


Gov. Jan Brewer outlined a modestly increased Arizona state budget in her State of the State speech last month, saying the state's positive cash flow meant some deep cuts of the last few years could be restored.

Republican legislators who had hinted they wouldn't increase spending to her or the Democrats' likings expanded on that Monday by proposing a budget with no significant increases.

The biggest new item in it is $250 million proposed for a rainy day fund. Legislators say they need to squirrel away money because precarious financial footing is in the offing: end of 2013 expiration of the 1-cent education sales tax; the as-yet unknown costs of the national health care package; the possibility of a second recession.

Brewer's spokesman, Matt Benson, pushed back, saying the governor wants her increases for sorely needed programs. That would include $100 million for K-12 capital funding, $50 million for school reading programs, 5 percent raises for state employees and buy-back of the mortgaged state Capitol buildings.

On Friday's Arizona Week, we will get the latest developments from Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce, other legislators and others involved in the budgeting process.

Arizona Legislature Arizona Senate President Steve Pierce Gov Jan Brewer,


A bill eliminating most civil-service protections for Arizona state government employees is moving through the House of Representatives. The bill, HB2571, passed the House Employment and Regulatory Affairs Committee last week on a party-line vote of 6-3.

Friday's Arizona Week will delve into the legislation, which is at the top of Gov. Jan Brewer's agenda for this session. We will strive through interviews with supporters and opponents to:

-- Explain the bill's intricacies.

-- Tell why the average Arizonan should care.

-- Explain what the legislation will do to state worker protections and to the overall hiring-and-firing system.

-- Show what implementation would cost or save vs. what occurs under the existing system.


Mitt Romney's Mormon faith could well pay dividends for him in the Arizona Republican presidential primary Feb. 28. That same day, the Michigan GOP holds its primary, and Romney's roots -- he was raised there -- should help.

Does that mean he now has a lock on the nomination? Not by the reckoning of many, including his three still stubbornly standing opponents -- Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

They all craft themselves as the conservative answer to Romney, and in Arizona, that could speak to Republicans.

What the setup likely means is a no-holds-barred debate on national television next week among the four Republicans. The debate will be in Mesa the evening of Feb. 22 and be televised on CNN.

Look for Gingrich, Paul and Santorum to come after Romney like never before. Each wants to knock him from the frontrunner perch.

On Friday's Arizona Week, we will take a look at the candidates and the issues, handicapping both the debate and the primary.


Arizonans donated just shy of $2.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 to campaigns for president, U.S. Senate and U.S. House in the state.

On tonight's Arizona Week, AZPM political correspondents Andrea Kelly and Christopher Conover detail the reports.

They include $957,000 contributed by Arizonans to presidential campaigns, $600,000 to House campaigns and $640,000 to the U.S. Senate races.

The complete report will be posted on our Website today, along with links to the candidates' reports.


This Friday we’re analyzing the presidential and congressional campaign finance reports for the final quarter of 2011. Reporters Andrea Kelly and Christopher Conover will break down the reports and pinpoint where the contributions from Arizona are going.

Last quarter numbers from the Democrats: Rep. Raúl Grijalva from District 7 raised $47,752 between July 1 and Sept. 30. His campaign spent $58,341 and stored $59,389 in the bank.

District 8 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who won’t run for re-election, raised nearly four times as much as Grijalva. Her expenses stacked up to $97,600, but she kept almost 10 times as much on hand.

From the Republicans: Former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams brought in $110,780 in the third quarter. His expenses totaled $38,099 and he saved almost $300,000.

And finally, Republican State Sen. Frank Antenori who’s running for Giffords’ vacant spot. He filed the paperwork to form an exploratory committee for Giffords’ district, but had not reported his committee’s fund-raising or expenses to the Internal Revenue Service.

2011 campaign finance reports Frank Antenori Kirk Adams Raul Grijalva,

About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.