PHOENIX (AP) — A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans has advanced a state budget and Medicaid expansion proposal through the Arizona Senate and House.
The preliminary debate that went on for hours and carried into early Thursday morning represents an unprecedented power shift as GOP moderates joined Democrats to push through Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's budget against the objections of conservative leaders.
Senate President Andy Biggs and House Speaker Andy Tobin have fought Brewer's plan to expand Medicaid to 300,000 more low-income Arizonans for months.
The Legislature is expected to pass a final budget by Thursday afternoon.
Brewer called a surprise special session late Tuesday and ordered lawmakers to revolve the budget debate after months of stalled negotiations.