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MN Lawmakers Approve Budget

July 20, 2011, 6:28 AM by Kelly Bartnick

MN Lawmakers Approve Budget
ST. PAUL, MN - Minnesota's 22,000 state workers could be back on the job this week. The legislature passed a budget bill early Wednesday morning that will end the state's 20-day government shutdown .

The shutdown began July 1st and will end as soon as Governor Mark Dayton signs the nine separate bills.

Dayton had previously said he wouldn't sign any bill until they were all on his desk. Dayton had already agreed with with GOP leaders on the plan that ends a bitter argument over taxes and spending.

The end means all the state's non-essential workers could be back on the job soon. State parks and rest areas will reopen, and other agencies will be back in business.

The state's new budget pays for more state spending by borrowing money and delaying payments.

One of the nine bills is a $498 million bonding bill for state construction projects. It includes $131 million for the Minnesota Colleges and University system, providing funding for big projects at the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State.

It also allocates more than $50 million for state flood control projects and $56 million for transportation projects like local bridge placement and repairs.

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