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Legislative showdown begins Monday

Next week will bring drama to the waning days of the state’s legislative session. Lawmakers will consider a last-minute abortion measure and whether to expand federal Medicaid benefits. The showdown on both issues will happen Monday. Lawmakers will debate a law that bans giving public money to abortion providers. The state law would go much further than a similar federal mandate. The House Appropriations Committee will review the prohibition on using government dollars to subsidize rent, employee salaries or other overhead costs.

Monday will also renew the fight over expanding access to Medicaid under President Obama’s healthcare plan. Governor Brewer has been arguing with her own party over the issue, and their inability to come to an agreement has slowed progress on other legislative business, mainly passing a budget.