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The Latest: House leader sidesteps budget-blocking issue

The Latest on negotiations on an Arizona budget package (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers is introducing legislation extending the period of time people who were sexually assaulted as minors can sue to get around a roadblock from some Republican senators to a budget deal.

Bowers said Thursday he's backing an extension of the statute of limitations from 20 years old to 25 or even 30.

Republican Sen. Paul Boyer is pushing a stalled plan to extend time for filing lawsuits to seven years after someone realizes they were sexually assaulted as a child. He vowed not to back a budget unless his plan got a vote.

Bowers says he's trying to solve Boyer's problem but acknowledges he hasn't spoken to him on his new proposal.

The rift threatened to block a budget deal expected to be rolled out on Monday.

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12:34 p.m.

Republican leaders in the Arizona Legislature say they hope to finalize a budget deal with GOP Gov. Doug Ducey over the weekend and roll out the plan early next week.

Senate President Karen Fann said Thursday that she's hoping to brief small groups of majority Republicans starting Monday before introducing budget bills. The plan is to enact a budget by the end of the week, but glitches could delay progress.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers says he's also preparing for a Monday kickoff with member meetings that typically precede the introduction of actual budget bills.

Minority Democrats aren't involved in ongoing negotiations between top Republicans and Ducey's staff.

The governor proposed an $11.4 billion spending plan in January that mainly devotes a $1 billion surplus to state reserves and education funding.

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