Arizona Legislature 2012 session ends with budget (Update)

(AP)—Arizona lawmakers have ended their six-month legislative session after passing an $8.8 billion budget and divisive Medicaid expansion in a huge political victory for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.

The sine die vote came early Friday morning after a marathon week that saw Brewer call a surprise special session late Tuesday that forced lawmakers to focus on the budget.

The House worked overnight to pass Brewer's top priorities, while the Senate voted Thursday afternoon to pass the budget and Medicaid expansion.

Conservatives opposed Brewer's Medicaid plan. The expansion is optional under last year's Supreme Court decision upholding the federal health care law, and many Republican governors rejected it.

Brewer had been one of the Affordable Care Act's most vocal critics, but acknowledged in January that it would help Arizonans get care.


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