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Rank-and-File GOP Minnesota Lawmakers Fear Shutdown

Minnesota State CapitolST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Many rank-and-file Republican state lawmakers are waiting in their Capitol offices as they hold out hope that their own legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton make a budget deal to head off a state government shutdown.

Dayton and GOP leaders had not met for several hours by dinnertime Thursday, as the midnight deadline for a shutdown drew closer.

New members of legislative Republican majorities say they don’t want a shutdown and they know it could hurt them politically. But they also say they don’t want to give in to Dayton’s demand for tax or revenue increases.

Rep. Mike LeMieur of Little Falls says legislators could suffer voters’ wrath more than the governor. They’re up for election next year, and Dayton won’t face voters til 2014.

Rep. Kirk Stensrud of Eden Prairie says he expects people to be mad if the shutdown closes a big highway construction project in his district.

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

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