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Capitol’s DFL Leaders must Guard Against Overreach

GaryQ, Flickr

ST. PAUL (AP) — The two Democrats who will lead the Legislature starting in January will have to manage Democratic ambitions as the party takes full control of the Capitol for the first time in over 20 years.

House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen and incoming Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk have the same goal but contrasting styles. Bakk, a retired union official hailing from northeastern Minnesota, is burly and gregarious but prone to occasional flashes of temper. Thissen, an attorney from southwest Minneapolis, is cool and cerebral.

The new leaders will collaborate with Gov. Mark Dayton as they try to fill another projected state budget deficit, debate the possibility of income tax increases on the wealthy, look for ways to relieve rising property taxes and spend more on public schools.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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