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GOP Reps. Tim Kelly of Red Wing (left) and Steve Drazkowski of Wabasha listen to first-day activities in the Minnesota House Tuesday. Kelly is newly elected; Drazkowski is beginning his first full term. Staff photo by Don Davis

Legislature begins amid optimism

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ST. PAUL - The smiles and "happy new year" salutations of Tuesday's Minnesota legislative session opening day soon will turn into serious faces and money talk as legislators begin grappling with a $4.85 billion deficit.


But legislators say the opening-day hugs will not turn into partisan stare-downs as has happened in the past.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.