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Associated Press, Published February 09 2011

Minnesota's Dayton to sketch budget path in 1st State of State

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton heads into his first State of the State address looking to frame a Minnesota budget debate that is about to heat up.

Dayton's address Wednesday to a joint session of the Legislature comes less than a week before he presents a two-year budget proposal. That plan must wipe out a projected $6.2 billion deficit.

The first-term Democrat campaigned on a plan to raise top-tier income taxes. But he's also acknowledged the need for significant spending cuts.

Republicans who lead the Legislature say they'll hold firm in opposition to new taxes. They are on the verge of sending Dayton a bill with the first $900 million in budget reductions.

Dayton has said he would use his speech to highlight other policies he'll pursue, including expanded all-day kindergarten.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.