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Decade of Minnesota budget cuts adding up

Based on fiscal review documents created by Senate staff each year, the state has cut projected spending over the decade by roughly $7 billion. The largest chunk of those reductions, roughly $3.3 billion, has occurred in the health and human services sector, the fastest growing segment of the budget.

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Market for tobacco bonds is pricey, iffy

The deal to close Minnesota’s $5 billion budget deficit included $640 million in borrowing through state bond sales. The source of that money has typically been referred to as “tobacco bonds,” but that’s not necessarily an accurate description of how the state will generate the short-term infusion of cash.

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Lobbyists scramble to digest budget

Some bills were only posted online in the early hours of Wednesday morning, just hours — or minutes — before they passed. By morning they were signed into law by the governor. Now some lobbyists, many of whom spend long days and nights at the Capitol during session, are scrambling to understand the budget bills’ implications for their clients.

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Former House Speaker calls out Legislature for closed-door process

At the close of a press conference called by Republican legislative leaders to discuss the $11 billion health and human services bill, former DFL House Speaker Bob Vanasek offered some pointed criticism of the process used to craft the budget bills. Vanasek voiced concerns about discussions taking place behind closed doors with no public access.

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