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Associated Press, Published February 09 2011

GOP legislators tepid on Dayton's State of State

ST. PAUL — Top Republican lawmakers are reacting tepidly to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's first State of the State speech.

House Speaker Kurt Zellers said Wednesday that the speech was looking backward, not forward. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says it had a "retrospective" feel.

Dayton asked the GOP-run Legislature for a commitment that they won't let the coming budget fight reach the point of a government shutdown. He also vowed to spend more on K-12 schools and transportation.

Koch and Zellers say the prospect of a shutdown is overstated at this point. They say the state doesn't have the money to back up Dayton's promises.

Dayton is slated to release his budget proposal next week as the state faces a $6.2 billion deficit over the next two years.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.