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Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Minnesota's budget shortfall is the result of the national and international "economic collapse" affecting nearly all states' budgets. (Scott Wente/Minn. State Capitol Bureau)

Pawlenty praises new House plan

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ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House public works package that spends $120 million less than senators' plan "is a step in the right direction," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.

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A House plan funding $247 million in construction and renovation projects saw its first action Tuesday and is set for a final committee vote today. A floor vote will follow in the coming days.

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