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Brewer spokesman confirms budget deal

Gov. Jan Brewer has reached agreement with House and Senate leaders on a 2010 budget deal.

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman would not discuss details of the agreement, but said it includes a fall ballot referral for the temporary 1-cent sales tax increase Brewer has proposed.

“The total package is a compromise and we think it’s a good, reasonable compromise. There’s some pieces of the package that the governor is not fond of, but in the total package we have to reach a compromise and agreement,” Senseman said.

According to legislative leaders, the deal includes $600 million in spending cuts that Republican lawmakers had wanted. If the tax increase, which Brewer said could generate as much as $1 billion a year, is approved by voters, the money could be used to backfill cuts and bridge future deficits.

The deal, which still must be approved by the Legislature, comes just days before the June 30 end of the fiscal year. GOP lawmakers approved a series of budget bills on June 4 but refused to send it to Brewer’s desk while they negotiated with the governor.

Brewer, who disapproved of numerous parts of that budget package, accused legislative leadership of withholding the bill until June 30 so she would be forced to either sign an unsatisfactory budget or order a government shutdown.

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