Spokesman: AZ House Speaker Tobin's future up in the air - Tucson News Now

UPDATE

Spokesman: AZ House Speaker Tobin's future up in the air

House Speaker Andy Tobin (Source: andytobin.com) House Speaker Andy Tobin (Source: andytobin.com)

The Arizona House and Senate have launched a special session focused on the state budget.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer used her executive power to call the special session late Tuesday with little notice.

Brewer's power play came after the Legislature had adjourned the regular session for the day. The House had been expected to take up Brewer's Medicaid expansion proposal early Tuesday, but Speaker Andy Tobin opted to instead delay that and other budget-related votes until Thursday.

Tobin's spokesman, Ray Torres, said the House speaker was possibly preparing to either step down or be voted out Tuesday, but no action was taken.  

"I never was asked to (step down). The executive never asked or sent an emissary to do that. None of my members have. None of the democrats have," said Tobin.

Medicaid expansion is Brewer's No. 1 priority this session, and she's grown frustrated with deadlock in the Legislature caused by conservative opposition. She wants to expand Medicaid to 300,000 more poor residents under the federal healthcare law.

The House and Senate are now expected to debate a moderate budget starting on Wednesday morning.

Moderate Republicans will likely side with Democrats to pass Brewer's budget.

Conservative Republicans called the special session unnecessary. They oppose the expansion.

"There is absolutely no need to hold a special session," said Rep. Adam Kwasman, while addressing house members from the floor.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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