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DFLers decry public safety cuts, but acknowledge similar past budgetary moves

Senate DFLers are upset with cuts contained in the public safety omnibus bill that's slated for a vote on the Senate floor today. In particular, Democrats take issue with a 50 percent reduction in funding for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and a $6.5 million transfer from the Fire Safety Account, which pays for firefighter training.

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Minnesota’s budget battle starts in earnest

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said that it is a "fantasy island" scenario for Republicans to believe that the state will receive a waiver from the federal government in time for the start of the next biennium in July.

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Impact of LGA cuts in the eye of beholder

During the end-of-the-week press briefing held by the Republican leadership after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed their phase one budget-cutting bill, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch responded to Dayton's claim that the local government aid cuts in the bill would make property taxes skyrocket. Koch said the proposed cuts to city aid were merely an extension of reductions made at the end of 2010, and most cities never expected those dollars to come back in the first place.

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Video: Feinwachs on lack of HMO transparency

The plight of Dave Feinwachs and his crusade to bring greater accountability to health-maintenance organizations is the subject of a lengthy piece in Monday's edition of Capitol Report. The former general counsel of the Minnesota Hospitals Association, who was fired in November, has been giving his power-point presentation ever since to anyone who will listen.

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Senate passes $1 billion budget-cutting bill

After several hours of debate and failed amendment attempts from Democrats on Thursday, the GOP-proposed bill passed off the floor with a 37-27 party-line vote. The bill makes about $1 billion worth of cuts by making permanent reductions to local government aid, higher education and health care made at the end of the 2010 session.

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Dayton stumps for bonding plan

Gov. Mark Dayton got out ahead of the Capitol press corps this week when he issued a news release declaring his own bonding proposal "unusual." Dayton is calling for a big bonding bill in what is traditionally a nonbonding year, a gesture that stands in stark contrast to the approach of his Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, who vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bonding projects in his day.

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