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Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, studies paperwork during a Wednesday House committee meeting during which aid paid to local governments was discussed. The debate on cutting local aid is gathering meomentum as lawmakers are tasked with trimming the state's budget from a record deficit appraoching $5 billion. Koenen, like many lawmakers from rural areas whose cities' budgets depend on local aid, opposes any cuts. Tribune photo by Don Davis

Pawlenty could cut LGA by 25%, leaving the amount cities receive at levels of more than a decade past

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ST. PAUL -- Bill Clinton was president. Arne Carlson was governor. Gasoline was $1.15 a gallon. Six more years of new television episodes were in "Friends" future. Google was two people in a garage.

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