House passes bill that aims to fund government agencies, avoid shutdowns

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The Minnesota House of Representatives passed an omnibus state government bill Saturday that will appropriate $921 million to 28 state agencies and boards and give a 1 percent compensation increase to employees who work in those agencies, Session Daily reports.

The bill also includes a provision instituting a "continuing appropriation process," according to the Associated Press. That means that spending on programs would continue for a year even if lawmakers fail to approve a timely budget. In other words, no more government shutdowns like the one Minnesota had in 2011.

As for the pay increase, Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, said the bill's designed to throw a bone to state employees, according to Session Daily. “Our state employees are efficient and skilled and they need our support,” Murphy said.

The bill was drafted and sponsored by DFLers. Republicans opposed various funding items, including $620,000 for Minnesota Public Radio and $30,000 for a bust or statue in the Capitol for Nellie Stone Johnson, a Minnesota political leader and civil rights activist, the daily reports.

The amended bill now returns to the Senate, which passed its version 34-32 Tuesday.

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