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Expect battle in House over Arizona budget, Medicaid

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Legislative session could end next week but not before dealing with the budget and Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to expand Medicaid.

Arizona House Democratic leader Chad Campbell said the budget and Medicaid will take center stage Monday or Tuesday. He said the Medicaid expansion proposal has been the most contentious issue that he has dealt with in his seven years at the Capitol.

"It's something that a substantial amount of House Republicans like," he said. "I have no doubt in my mind that there's a majority of House members that will vote for the budget and Medicaid package as it came out of the Senate."

Republican Rep. John Kavanagh strongly opposes the expansion of Medicaid to 300,000 more Arizonans. Unlike Campbell, he doesn't believe the lengthy session will come to an end next week and maybe not even the week afterward.

"If it passes the House it will go to the Governor's office. I'm hoping it (Medicaid expansion) fails. If it gets a fair vote and it fails I hope the governor gives up on it and doesn't drag this out and continue to rip the party apart."

Kavanagh said House Republicans will try to craft something that is more acceptable than the Senate-passed expansion of Medicaid.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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