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GOP Leaders: Deficit Fix To Involve Public Workers

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Top legislative Republicans say Minnesota can’t solve a $6.2 billion budget shortfall without involving public employees.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said Friday that wage freezes, pension reductions and cost sharing are being considered as GOP lawmakers prepare a budget proposal.

She and House Majority Leader Matt Dean say Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal for a 6 percent reduction in the state work force goes in the right direction.

They say they’re not focused on Wisconsin-style legislation to remove collective bargaining rights from public employees.

Koch says Dayton would likely reject such a bill.

Dean was noncommittal on House bill proposing a constitutional amendment to block union membership and dues as a condition of employment in Minnesota. Constitutional amendments don’t require the governor’s approval to go before voters.

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

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