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Lawmakers start examination of Dayton plan

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans on Minnesota's influential House Ways and Means Committee say some of what appeared to be cuts in Gov. Mark Dayton's budget blueprint are actually reallocated spending.

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The committee that's charged with piecing together the legislative budget met Monday for its first detailed look at Dayton's $38 billion, two-year tax and spending proposal.

GOP members were wary of major sales and income tax changes and the possible effect on the state's business climate. Several Minneapolis DFLers suggested including a liquor tax increase to accompany Dayton's proposed 94-cent-a pack hike in the state cigarette tax.

GOP Rep. Denny McNamara of Hastings noted that what initially looked like $225 million in cuts is actually both cuts and some reallocated spending within agencies, including the DNR. Dayton's budget chief, Jim Schowalter, confirmed that.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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