Brewer urges Ariz. lawmakers to face challenges

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is telling state legislators they shouldn't shrink from the challenges of the state's budget troubles and other issues.

Brewer on Monday delivered her first State of the State address after lawmakers began their 2010 session.

Gov. Jan Brewer's State of the State address from azfamily Cares on Vimeo.

She said fixing the budget will require more spending cuts as well as a short-term revenue increase. She didn't specifically mention her stalled proposal for a temporary sales-tax increase.

She said another needed budget fix would involve asking voters to roll back an eligibility change that has boosted enrollment in the state's Medicaid program.

Brewer also cited steps intended to add high-paying jobs -- using $10 million of federal stimulus money for training and convening a business summit on job creation opportunities.

ORIGINAL -- The Arizona Legislature convenes for a 2010 session that will be dominated by the state's budget crisis on Monday.

The session begins with separate House and Senate floor sessions at noon.

The lawmakers then hold a joint session in the House chamber at 1:45 p.m. to hear Gov. Jan Brewer's first State of the State address.

The state faces a midyear shortfall of at least $1.4 billion in the current $8.4 billion budget. A deficit more than twice that big is projected for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Other expected topics for legislative consideration include providing tax breaks to spur economic development, cracking down on illegal immigration, expanding gun owners' rights and prohibiting texting while driving.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)