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Published April 15, 2013, 08:14 AM

Votes ahead for bills that make up Minnesota budget

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A week of votes on a slate of budget bills is ahead in the Minnesota Legislature, which is braced for long hours.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A week of votes on a slate of budget bills is ahead in the Minnesota Legislature, which is braced for long hours.

The House planned to start with an economic development bill, which contains incentives for companies that expand their presence and hire more people. It also includes controversial provisions intended to discourage lockouts during labor disputes.

In the Senate, a bill to fund core state agencies — from the Department of Revenue to the Department of Veterans Affairs — is first up. That bill also calls for the first pay hikes for many elected officials since the late 1990s.

Once a pairing of bills passes off each floor, the real budget negotiations begin. Lawmakers have until mid-May to finish their work. The new budget takes effect on July 1.

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