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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers agree the whopping budget deficit they faced this legislative session was no surprise, but point fingers across the political aisle when assigning blame for lack of a budget deal. The Legislature ended its 2009 session Monday night without a tidy conclusion to its main order of business - solving a $4.6 billion deficit in the next two-year state budget. Democrats who control the Legislature sent budget bills to Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators rushed through bills funding a bulk of the state budget Wednesday, but without fully paying. The Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty have not agreed on how to fund part of the budget, leaving tax and spending questions in the 2009 legislative session's final five days. Senators and representatives worked into Wednesday night approving funding for education, agriculture, veterans, public works and other state programs, often with little or no debate.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers propose to keep public school funding stable for the next two years and give public colleges and universities a small state spending cut. The Democrat-controlled Legislature on Wednesday passed a $13.7 billion spending plan for early childhood programs and K-12 schools that protects schools from spending reductions planned for many other budget state budget areas. Also, lawmakers approved a $3 billion measure funding state colleges and universities that trims state spending by 2 percent. But both bills are in doubt.
On paper, Hinckley is more popular than the Twin Ports. More Northern Lights Express passengers would use a station built near Grand Casino in Hinckley than both a Superior depot and Duluth terminal, if annual ridership figures from a feasibility study for the proposed rail line play out as projected. About 1.3 million riders are forecast to travel annually on one of eight daily runs along a portion of the 150-mile corridor from Minneapolis to Duluth.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota voters could cast ballots in person during the weeks leading up to Election Day under a bill senators supported Friday. Minnesota would join states that offer early in-person voting. Voters could cast ballots at designed polling places during a two-week window before Election Day. The election bill, which senators preliminarily approved, also moves the state primary election from early September to the first Tuesday in June.
ST. PAUL - Legislators on an education funding committee took the weekend off. A spat among Minnesota lawmakers negotiating a health-care spending bill interrupted talks Saturday. Lawmakers working on a deal to fund agriculture and veterans' programs were in a holding pattern, and other spending bills remained unresolved, a little more than a week before the Legislature must adjourn. And reaction to Gov.
ST. PAUL - State health officials are tweaking their H1N1 swine influenza guidelines as Minnesota settles in for an unpredictable flu fight that could last months. Doctors and clinicians have sent more than 400 samples from patients with flu symptoms to the Health Department for H1N1 swine flu testing.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota counties with lots of state-owned land may like an environment spending plan that protects state payments they receive. Counties cannot impose a property tax levy on state land, so the state makes cash payments, which are maintained under a compromise plan developed by a House-Senate conference committee that both legislative chambers passed Monday night. To help balance the state budget, Gov.
After almost 30 years, LeRoy Chiovitte's state walleye record remains untouchable. Chiovitte, of Hermantown, caught his 17-pound, 8-ounce state record on the Seagull River where it enters Saganaga Lake on May 13, 1979. The weather was cold that year, and many walleyes spawned late. Chiovitte had caught a 12½-pounder on Saturday, the season opener, that was spawned out. He hooked his 17½-pounder at about 8 a.m. on Sunday. Although catch-and-release fishing was coming on, Chiovitte and his friends weren't releasing many walleyes.
ST. PAUL - Tom Pawlenty's campaign Web site is undergoing an update, fueling speculation that he may seek a third term as Minnesota's governor. The two-term Republican governor has not said whether he plans to run again, but it might appear that way after rolling out his new www.timpawlenty.com . A Pawlenty video welcomes people and a form next to the video asks visitors to "join the team." It also features a large red box where visitors can click to contribute to his campaign. The site is to continue its overhaul over the next few weeks.