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Bipartisan Senate passes budget, AHCCCS expansion (access required)

Senate Majority Leader John McComish, R-Phoenix, speaks on the floor during debate of the budget. McComish offered an amendment to the budget to include Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan, which was adopted after he and a coalition of other Republicans banded with Democrats, over the objections of Senate President Andy Biggs and the majority of the caucus. (Photo by Evan Wyloge)

A debate that lasted nearly 12 hours ended late Thursday night, when the Arizona state Senate approved a budget proposal that includes a plan to expand Medicaid coverage as desired by Gov. Jan Brewer.

Six Republican senators joined forces with Senate Democrats to wrest control of the chamber from Sen. President Andy Biggs and provided momentum to Brewer’s proposal by giving preliminary approval to the bills during floor debate.

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Arizona public schools wait for budget answers

classroom

Across the state, education leaders in Arizona are trying to plan for the new school year with little information on how much state or federal funding they will receive. Education funding represents Arizona's largest expense, but it's unclear whether public schools will get more or less dollars when the new fiscal year begins in July.

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