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Minnesota Lawmakers Okay Cuts On Parks, Safety, Colleges

Minnesota State Capitol
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ST. PAUL  (AP) — The Minnesota House has passed a higher education budget bill that cuts funding for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems.

The House approved the bill on a 69-60 vote Tuesday evening. Republicans say it’s necessary to close a $5 billion state budget deficit without state income tax increases, but Democrats say it will mean tuition increases, elimination of campus programs and employee layoffs.

The House also passed budgets for environment and natural resource programs, while the Senate passed its own higher education and environment and natural resources budgets, as well as one for the judiciary and public safety. But Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has been highly critical of the GOP-backed budget bills for not including any new revenue sources.

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

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