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Banaian, Gottwalt Split Votes On $1 Billion In Cuts [AUDIO]

King Banaian
King Banaian

ST. CLOUD — The Minnesota House passed $1 billion in state budget cuts in a close vote.  The bill passed on a 69-63 vote.

State Representative King Banaian of St. Cloud was one of four Republicans that voted against it.  He says he didn’t feel there was enough discussion about the bill.

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Banaian says he also voted against it because higher education is unfairly hit in the bill.  He says it was promoted as keeping funding levels flat, but MnSCU will actually see a reduction in allocations by about $23 million — which means another $2.4 million in cuts for St. Cloud State University.

Steve Gottwalt
Steve Gottwalt

Meanwhile, Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud voted in favor of the bill.  He says those cuts are inevitable, and they have to start somewhere.

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St. Cloud will see a cut of $1.2 million in Local Government Aid under this bill. But Mayor Dave Kleis says they’ve already budgeted for it.  The Senate will take-up their version of the bill next week.

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