Posted: May 1, 2012 3:52 PM
PHOENIX (AP) - A budget plan negotiated by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican legislative leaders is advancing in the Arizona Legislature.
The Senate gave preliminary approval to the 10-bill nearly $8.6 billion spending package for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The House is expected to do the same Tuesday afternoon, and formal votes by each chamber would follow.
The plan includes stashing $450 million in the state's reserve fund and increasing spending for mental health care, prison construction, reading instruction and other programs..
Brewer says the state can afford some immediate spending increases, while many Republican legislators argued for holding the line on spending in anticipation of future budget troubles.
Democrats say the Republicans' budget doesn't do enough to add jobs and address important priorities.
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