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Senate passes budget bill

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Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

The Senate gave final approval Monday to its plan to balance the state's $935 million budget deficit.

The bill makes spending cuts of between 3 percent and 4 percent to most state agencies and uses budget reserves and available cash.

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Senate Finance Chairman Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said, while unpleasant, the bill is needed to erase the deficit. Senators voted 40-25 for the bill, which does not fund some of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's priorities.

"It's kind of a poke in the eye to the governor," said Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan.

A House-Senate conference committee will be needed to iron out differences between competing budget bills as lawmakers look toward negotiations with Pawlenty.

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