HEADLINES : Arizona
$8.5 bil Arizona budget expected to be OK'd
State lawmakers expect to debate, vote and approve an $8.5 billion budget Tuesday in a sprint toward adjournment later this week.
Their sessions will be open to the public, but public testimony will not be allowed. The public got its say in February, when the appropriations committees held hearings on a GOP-crafted budget that looked somewhat different than the current $8.5 billion plan.
Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature's Republican leadership announced agreement on a fiscal 2013 budget late Friday; on Monday, lawmakers were making changes that will affect specific programs but not the overall size of the budget.
Democrats, left out of negotiations, lambasted the budget, saying it hoards dollars that could be used to spur jobs, such as in tourism and education.
Lobbyists filled the House and Senate, angling for changes that would benefit their causes.