Gorman resigns as Ariz. Senate's majority whip

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An Arizona state senator resigned from her leadership post Tuesday, citing philosophical differences with other Republican leaders on taxes and spending.

In an e-mail announcing her resignation as Senate majority whip, Republican Sen. Pamela Gorman of Anthem says she finds raising taxes during a recession is the wrong thing to do.

Gorman, who is retaining her position as a state senator, is an opponent of Gov. Jan Brewer's proposal for a sales tax increase. Gorman says the tax issue is tearing apart the Republican caucus.

The Arizona Legislature returned Tuesday afternoon to its special session focusing on closing a state budget deficit estimated at more than $3 billion.

Action unlikely today

Arizona budget in senators' hands - The Arizona Legislature returns Tuesday afternoon to its special session focusing on closing a state budget deficit estimated at more than $3 billion.

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The Senate was unlikely to take major action Tuesday on a Republican budget-balancing plan that was approved last week by the House.

The Senate had postponed voting when it became clear it didn't have enough votes to pass the plan, and at least two key GOP senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Gray, are expected to be absent Tuesday.

The plan's provisions include holding a Nov. 3 special election on a spending cap, new authority for lawmakers to ease voter-approved spending mandates and Gov. Jan Brewer's proposal for a sales tax increase.

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