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Republicans found a moment to laugh on Sunday when they hoped an offer Gov. Tim Pawlenty, left, had just made would break a budget logjam. With him is House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove. Don Davis / State Capitol Bureau

Legislature starts special session, hopes to adjourn today

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ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers and governor could not balance the state budget by midnight, forcing the Legislature into a brief special session.

Democratic leaders and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty agreed to begin the special session at 12:01 a.m. today, with passage of a budget-balancing measure by sunrise.

An agreement about how to fill a $3 billion deficit was announced at 11:40 p.m. Sunday, 20 minutes before the constitutional deadline to pass bills.

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