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Arizona governor to act on new state budget

Gov. Jan Brewer calls a special session for the state legislature Monday, in order to pass her "jobs bill" package. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is up against a deadline to act on a new budget that authorizes cuts in the state’s Medicaid program while permitting restored coverage for medical transplants.

Thursday is the deadline for her to act on 12 of the budget’s 13 bills. One that legislators corrected has a later deadline.

Brewer negotiated the budget with Republican legislators and she is expected to sign the bills.

The $8.3 billion budget eliminates a projected $1.1 billion shortfall, mostly through spending cuts.

The biggest cut reduces state funding for Medicaid by $510 million.

The budget authorizes Brewer to make sweeping changes in the program and she is proposing freezes to reduce enrollment by approximately 138,000 people over the next year. She plans to immediately restore transplant coverage eliminated Oct. 1.

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