Lawmakers return to St. Paul Tuesday, budget to dominate session

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Minnesota's 2013 legislative session will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 8, with work of approving a two-year budget expected to be the most challenging issue on the agenda, Forum Communications reports. One of the biggest unknown factors is how much the debate over the national debt will affect Minnesota.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton plans to release his budget plan Jan. 22. Dayton and lawmakers must agree to a budget by May 20.

Another top priority will be legislation to set up a health insurance exchange, part of President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, to meet the federal deadline of October 2013.

Meanwhile, Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, also plans to introduce a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Minnesota.

Nearly a third of the state’s 201 legislators are fresh faces and the four legislative leaders have not served in those positions before.

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