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Capital Crapshoot

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WE'RE SURE HE'S WORTH EVERY PENNY

The state pays $441,000 to settle a claim filed by a staffer who said he was libeled by Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim Irvin. Since his re-election last November, Irvin has also been hit with a $60 million punitive judgment in a civil case regarding a gas company merger and has cost the state at least $4.6 million in legal bills.


THE BAD NEWS: THE IMPEACHMENT WILL COST ANOTHER $5 MILLION IN LEGAL FEES

Politicians and pundits renew call for House Speaker Jake Flake (R-Snowflake) to begin impeachment proceedings against Irvin. Flake replies: "We're too busy investigating the renaming of Piestewa Peak!"


YOU FIND THE MONEY

Legislature approves a ballot proposal that asks voters to amend the state Constitution to require that initiative backers include a funding source with any program that costs the state money.


HE OUGHTA KNOW

Conservative House Republicans target a plan that allows universities to borrow $400 million to build new research facilities. Rep. Russell Pearce, who used the state's infamous alternative-fuel program to subsidize his own purchase of a car in 2000, called the plan "alt fuels times four," according to the Arizona Capitol Times.


HIGHWAY ROBBERY

The House votes 31-28 bill allowing big, flashing electronic billboards along Arizona highways, sending the bill to the Senate. Local Republicans providing swing votes include Reps. Randy Graf, Steve Huffman and Jennifer Burns.

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