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DFL'ers invited to Republican caucus

Senate Republicans had rare visitors at a closed-door caucus meeting Monday.

Four Senate Democrats familiar with budget bills needing final approval went before their GOP counterparts to explain the funding packages.

"I've never seen that before," mused Republican Sen. Steve Dille of Dassel, a 21-year legislative veteran.

It is rare for private caucus meetings to be opened to others. The DFLers answered questions about bills funding public schools, health programs and state agencies and a tax package, possibly to curb floor debate.