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1st Big Vote On 1st Wave Of Minnesota Budge Cuts

Minnesota State CapitolST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Republican-led House is taking its first big vote of the year with a bill biting $1 billion off a state budget problem six times as large.

The bill seeks savings by cutting allowances to local governments and colleges, freezing state worker pay and forcing agencies to hand over money they had yet to spend.

Republicans say they don’t want to delay a fix to the state’s budget deficit.

Democrats, led by Gov. Mark Dayton, are questioning whether a piece-by-piece approach is appropriate.

The cuts largely mirror temporary spending reductions enacted a year ago. Local governments would take the hardest hit with reduced state aid checks.

The Senate expects to vote on its version next week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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