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Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the $1.2 billion deficit reported Wednesday in the current two-year state budget can be solved. He said he wants to work on it with lawmakers, but prefers to plug the gap with budget cuts, irking some Minnesota officials who say state funding has been cut enough. "We will do everything we can to make sure Minnesota grows out of this crisis quickly," the governor said. Tribune photo by Don Davis

Budget brings further bad news, while Pawlenty's hint that he'll chop state payments brings further criticism

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ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty may target local governments as he looks for ways to plug continued budget deficits.

Shortly after his aides announced that the current budget contains a $1.2 billion hole and the next two-year budget is $5.4 billion short, Pawlenty on Wednesday said his first action could be chopping a state payment due to local governments later this month.


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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.