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Minn. lawmakers rush to finish budget business

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Lawmakers in the Minnesota Capitol are racing to adjourn for the session by the end of the day Monday, but they've got a lot of work left to do to finalize the state's roughly $38 billion budget for the next two years.

House and Senate negotiators are on track to finish up Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said, the Pioneer Press reports.

The House on Wednesday night approved a $463 million jobs bill, the first of nine tax and spending bills that need approval. That measure includes initiatives like job training, plus programs backed by Gov. Mark Dayton to funnel more than $50 million into grants and forgivable loans to persuade businesses to come to Minnesota, or to expand in the state.

MPR takes a closer look at the bill and the businesses that benefit: 3M would get money to expand in Maplewood, the Mall of America would get state funds to pay for a second phase of development, and Rochester would be given money for infrastructure projects as the Mayo Clinic expands, MPR notes.

Taxpayer money would also be used to encourage Baxter Healthcare to expand in Brooklyn Park, and to help lure Emerson Technologies to Shakopee, MPR reports.

The Pioneer Press reports that action was expected by the end of the week on at least three other budget bills – a public safety bill, a higher education bill, and a huge bill that sets a state budget for health and human services.

Meanwhile Thursday, lawmakers are expected to get a look at Dayton's new plan for funding the state's $348 million share of the cost of the new $975 million Vikings stadium.

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