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Local Lawmakers ‘Hopeful’ As Budget Talks Begin [AUDIO]

King Banaian
King Banaian

ST. CLOUD – Governor Mark Dayton and GOP Leaders have started an all-day meeting aimed at bridging their state budget differences.  And that’s given local lawmakers hope that a budget shutdown can still be avoided.

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State Representative King Banaian of St. Cloud says, if an agreement is not reached, he has put together a “lights on” bill that would fund the government at 70%.

Steve Gottwalt
Steve Gottwalt

Meanwhile, Representative Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud also believes today’s meeting is a good sign.

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Gottwalt will be participating in those meetings on Saturday, working on a compromise on the Health and Human Services bill.  If a shutdown can’t be avoided state lawmakers will continue to receive their paychecks, Banaian says he will collect his money but Gottwalt says he won’t accept his.

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