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Arizona Legislature Focuses On New Budget In Final Weeks

As the Arizona Legislature moves into its final weeks, leaders are focusing on the new budget. And House Speaker J.D. Mesnard is doing something not so typical.

Mesnard is bringing together Democrats behind closed doors as the product takes shape and getting their feedback.
 
The Chandler Republican said it’s part of his inclusion policy as speaker, and no matter the party, they all share common interests in shaping a spending plan.
 
“My priority, again, is to be to the Republican caucus. But there isn’t any harm, it seems to me, in dialoguing with my friends on the other side of the aisle," Mesnard said. "Whether, it be about policies about bills or about the budget."
 
According to Mesnard, the House and Senate are close on a budget framework.
 
Add Gov. Ducey, and he said, overall, everyone agrees on teacher pay hikes as a priority and a balanced budget.

The speaker’s hoping the session can wrap up in 100 days, but he predicts it will be over by the end of April.

Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.