/ Modified mar 20, 2014 2:04 p.m.

UPDATED: AZ Senate Gives Initial Approval to Budget Plan

AZ Senate President Andy Biggs introduced amendment with $18M for new school assessment test, $15M for CPS; chamber debating spending plan all day Thurs.

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The Arizona Senate has given initial approval to a $9.1 billion spending plan for the coming budget year.

Senate President Andy Biggs introduced some changes to the plan, including millions to fund the state's Child Protective Services.

Biggs said he added an extra $15 million for CPS, and $18 million for the new school assessment test, opposed by conservatives who don't like the state's new Common Core Standards.

Biggs said changes he has proposed will get Gov. Jan Brewer on board with the Senate's spending plan.

When the original Senate budget plan was introduced earlier in the week, it was about $200 million short from what Brewer wanted, and had left out some of her core priorities, such as money for new school assessment test, school broadband infrastructure and full findings for overhauling the state's child welfare system.

The state Senate is debating the $9.1 billion spending plan all day Thursday, and Biggs said a final vote is planned late in the afternoon.

House Speaker Andy Tobin said he's hoping a deal can be reached with the governor before the budget for the year that starts July 1 reaches his chamber. He said he's concerned the plan shortchanges rural lawmakers' concerns.

Brewer's spokesman Andrew Wilder said no deal had been finalized, and it remained unclear if the House was on board, too.

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