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Minnesota budget forecast likely to be more bad news

Minnesota budget forecast likely to be more bad news Click to Enlarge Photo:

Nov 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers are braced for bad news with Thursday's release of a state economic forecast.

The Star Tribune reports Wednesday that expectations at the Capitol are for somewhere between $500 million to $1 billion in red ink in the state general fund.

That would set the table for another showdown between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative majorities, with both sides still smarting from last summer's budget battle that led to a state government shutdown.

In that case, Dayton and lawmakers had to resolve a $5 billion shortfall. Lawmakers balked at Dayton's proposed income tax hikes, while he refused to cut as deeply as Republicans wanted.

After six months culminating in a 20-day shutdown, they agreed on a mix of cuts, borrowing and delays to school aid payments.

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