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Published May 12, 2010, 11:32 AM

Minnesota Budge

Negotiations over a fix for Minnesota's current $3 billion deficit also have lawmakers exploring ways to chop down a bigger shortfall awaiting them next year.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Negotiations over a fix for Minnesota's current $3 billion deficit also have lawmakers exploring ways to chop down a bigger shortfall awaiting them next year.

The level of ongoing spending cuts is a focus of talks between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and leading legislators, which were to resume Wednesday. Actions with a lasting impact will reduce a deficit possibly twice as deep for the next two-year budget.

Problem is, Democratic and Republican officials are having trouble agreeing on how to tackle the near-term problem. For example, Democrats say cities and counties can't endure steeper cuts to state allowances while Republicans won't consider new taxes to plug part of the hole.

While the 2010 legislative session can run until Monday, the practical deadline is Sunday because the Minnesota constitution doesn't allow lawmakers to pass a bill on the final day.

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