Lawmakers beginning special budget session

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PHOENIX - The state is facing a $700-million budget deficit and lawmakers are meeting for a special session to try and close the gap.

It's been years since the state of Arizona has had a balanced budget, but legislators will hopefully take one step closer to changing that in a special session.

This special session is the seventh such meeting by lawmakers.

Governor Jan Brewer is calling them back to the table and according to her office they already have a deal in place.

The Republican led legislature is banking on a temporary sales tax increase going before voters in May.

If that passes some of the other details are a 5% pay cut for state employees, closing the state's Juvenile Corrections Department, closing Kidscare and forcing 300,000 patients off Medicaid, not to mention the massive cuts to education.

If the temporary sales tax increase doesn't pass, the state legislature says they do have a plan b, but those details are unclear.

The lawmakers will begin their special session at 2pm and are hoping to have it wrapped up by the end of the week.