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Concealed-gun permit is closer to its demise

Concealed-gun permit is closer to its demise

Guns: By a 20-10 margin, the Senate voted Monday to remove the permit requirement for those who want to carry a concealed weapon.

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, sponsor of SB 1108, said all adults are permitted to carry weapons openly in Arizona. He said there is no reason for otherwise law-abiding residents to have to attend a class and go through a background check just to put a weapon under a jacket or in a purse.

The House already has given preliminary approval to an identical measure and should have a final vote later this week, sending the measure to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Health care: Legislation introduced Monday by all 18 Senate Republicans and 35 in the House would authorize Gov. Jan Brewer to file suit to challenge federal health-care legislation.

The measure, requested by Brewer, comes after Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat, refused to join a suit by other states to challenge the right of the federal government to mandate that all people purchase health care.

The legislation, set for a hearing today, also seeks to forbid the government from mandating that anyone purchase health insurance and bars state officials from collecting any penalties on those who refuse to sign up.

Voter mandates: The House voted Monday to seek permission to undo programs that voters have required the state to provide or fund.

HCR 2039 would partly, and temporarily, repeal a 1988 constitutional amendment that bars lawmakers from altering anything the voters themselves have approved. The 31-25 vote sends the measure to the Senate.

But the last word will be up to voters, who would have to agree to the change in November.

Backers said lawmakers need flexibility when state revenues run short.

Elections: State lawmakers gave final approval Monday to legislation designed to inform voters when corporations and unions are spending money to influence elections.

HB 2788, which now goes to Brewer, would require corporations and unions to publicly disclose when they spend money on statewide, legislative or local races.

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