Senate passes budget bill
The Senate gave final approval Monday to its plan to balance the state's $935 million budget deficit.
The bill makes spending cuts of between 3 percent and 4 percent to most state agencies and uses budget reserves and available cash.
Senate Finance Chairman Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said, while unpleasant, the bill is needed to erase the deficit. Senators voted 40-25 for the bill, which does not fund some of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's priorities.
"It's kind of a poke in the eye to the governor," said Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan.
A House-Senate conference committee will be needed to iron out differences between competing budget bills as lawmakers look toward negotiations with Pawlenty.