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State economic outlook somber

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ST. PAUL -- The state is sitting on nearly $500 million in unexpected tax revenue, but will have to use that to offset a weakening economy and to soften a looming budget deficit that likely will top $1 billion.

The state's existing $34 billion budget is sound, with enough cash on hand to pay for programs and $449 million more in tax receipts collected than was predicted for the current budget cycle, Minnesota finance officials said Friday.

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