Arizona Legislature set to debate $9.8 billion budget

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PHOENIX (AP) -

The Arizona Legislature is expected to debate a $9.8 billion state spending plan for the upcoming budget year but it remains unclear if there is sufficient support for a major university funding proposal.

[RELATED: Public gets 1 day to weigh in on Arizona budget]

The Legislature plans to debate the budget deal hammered out between majority Republican lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey Thursday.

[RELATED: Arizona House Speaker follows through on budget promise]

A $1 billion public university construction loan program faces stiff opposition from some Republicans. Democrats also oppose the budget because it only includes a 1 percent teacher raise and doesn't include restoration of welfare cuts Ducey pushed through in 2015.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough said Wednesday he doesn't have the votes to pass the budget and House Speaker J.D. Mesnard also is short of votes. That could change as Ducey leans on lawmakers to back the package.

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