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Minnesota lawmakers drawing up new shutdown rules

Minnesota lawmakers drawing up new shutdown rules Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Having taken lumps over last summer's government shutdown, Minnesota lawmakers are considering ways to take the sting out of any future budget standoffs.

A Senate committee was set to consider a cluster of bills that would make various state functions shutdown-proof. State colleges would be assured their continued funding, campgrounds and the zoo would remain open and road work would go on.

A budget feud between Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton led to a nearly three week government shutdown last summer. While a court ordered the state to keep some programs going, many offices were dark until a new budget was adopted.

Some people worry, however, that taking noticeable consequences out of a shutdown will reduce pressure on lawmakers to reach timely budget deals.

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