Funding bills pass without full funding

Sen. Keith Langseth

Minnesota legislators rushed through bills funding a bulk of the state budget Wednesday, but without fully paying.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty have not agreed on how to fund part of the budget, leaving tax and spending questions in the 2009 legislative session’s final five days.

Senators and representatives worked into Wednesday night approving funding for education, agriculture, veterans, public works and other state programs, often with little or no debate. The bills were compromises worked out by House and Senate negotiators after both chambers passed their own budget bills last month and earlier this month.

Meanwhile, lawmakers waited to see if Pawlenty would sign a massive health and human services spending measure they sent to him earlier in the week.

Pawlenty said that legislative spending would be $34 billion under the bills being passed while revenues would be just $31 billion.

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