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Public Employees Give Lawmaker Earful Over Budget

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Constituents had plenty to say about the state’s budget impasse during a town hall meeting in St. Paul.

A roomful of public employees, who soon could be laid off if state lawmakers can’t reach an agreement, gave Republican Rep. Keith Downey of Edina an earful Wednesday night.

Union workers criticized Downey and the Republican budget he supported. State government would shut down July 1 if a new two-year budget is not in place.

Bill McCarthy of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation suggested that compromising on taxes would help save state jobs. Downey has opposed Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise income taxes on top earners to balance the state budget.

Minnesota Public Radio News says Downey has sponsored several measures this year to cut government spending, including a 15 percent reduction in the state workforce over four years.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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