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Published April 20, 2013, 05:26 PM

Minn. House OKs bill to avoid government shutdowns

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Almost two years removed from a Minnesota government shutdown, lawmakers are closer to heading off future service interruptions.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Almost two years removed from a Minnesota government shutdown, lawmakers are closer to heading off future service interruptions.

A bill the House approved Saturday includes a provision instituting a continuing appropriation process. That means that spending on programs would continue for a year even if lawmakers fail to approve a timely budget. The overarching state agency finance bill passed 73-56.

In 2011, portions of state government were shuttered for almost three weeks when Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature, then led by the GOP, couldn't agree on a budget by July 1. Only services deemed essential continued under a judge's order.

Republicans tried to moderate the shutdown language so appropriations wouldn't be made based on what they consider to be an autopilot basis. The amendment failed.

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