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Published May 17, 2010, 11:20 AM

Legislature Passes Budget Compromise

The Minnesota House and Senate have adjourned for the year after approving a bill to balance the state budget and erase a $3 billion deficit.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota House and Senate have adjourned for the year after approving a bill to balance the state budget and erase a $3 billion deficit.

The votes happened Monday morning, a few hours after Gov. Tim Pawlenty called a brief special session when legislators failed to hit a midnight deadline for finishing.

Pawlenty and lawmakers reached a deal late Sunday that includes nearly $2 billion in delayed aid payments to school districts and includes spending cuts previously made by Pawlenty but later struck down by courts. The bill also gives Pawlenty or his successor authority to extend Medicaid health care for the poor using federal dollars.

House members passed the compromise bill on a bipartisan vote of 97-32 with a few Democrats and Republicans voting no. The Senate passed it 52-14. Critics say it does little to solve structural problems that will lead to an even bigger state deficit in future years.

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