- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - The latest on the plan to settle Arizona’s school funding lawsuit (all times local):

1:43 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a package of bills that will spend $3.5 billion on K-12 education over the next decade.

The Republican governor swiftly signed the legislation after it won final approval in the Senate earlier Friday.

He has called the deal a “great day for Arizona kids, families and teachers” and hailed it as a bipartisan success.

The special session took place this week to settle a 5-year-old lawsuit brought by schools over skipped inflation payments required by the Arizona Constitution.

12:10 p.m.

The Arizona Senate has voted to approve a package of bills that will pump $3.5 billion into K-12 education over 10 years and settle a five-year-old lawsuit filed by schools over skipped inflation payments required by the state Constitution.

Friday’s vote came after majority Republicans rejected a series of amendments offered by Democrats to the plan Republicans negotiated with schools.

The House passed the three bills late the previous night so the plan now goes to Gov. Doug Ducey for his promised signature.

The House vote came without any Democratic votes on two of the bills, but with unanimous support for one in the Republican-controlled House. That legislation actually appropriates the money.

The Senate also was unanimous on the funding bill. Three Democrats joined 17 Republicans to back the others.

Voters will have to approve the whole agreement in a May 17 special election.

11 a.m.

The Arizona Senate has begun voting on a package of bills that will pump $3.5 billion into K-12 education over 10 years and settle a five-year-old lawsuit filed by schools.

Friday morning’s vote comes after Republicans rejected a series of amendments offered by Democrats to the plan Republicans negotiated with schools.

The House passed the three bills late the previous night so Senate action will send the plan to Gov. Doug Ducey for his signature

Voters would then have to approve the whole agreement in a May 17 special election.

9:15 a.m.

The Arizona Senate has begun debate on a package of bills that will pump $3.5 billion into K-12 education over 10 years and settle a five-year-old lawsuit filed by schools.

Friday morning’s debate and scheduled vote comes after the House passed the three bills late the previous night.

The House vote came without any Democratic votes on two of the bills, but with unanimous support for one in the Republican-controlled House. That legislation actually appropriates the money.

House Democrats objected to several aspects of the package, but especially to a hard cap on increasing school funding beyond half the state budget that takes effect at the end of the 10-year funding plan. They also opposed Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to boost withdrawals from the state land trust to pay for more than half the plan.

The Republican controlled Senate is also expected the pass the bills and send them to Ducey for his promised signature.

Voters would then have to approve the whole agreement in a May 17 special election.

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