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As Shutdown Nears, GOP Roads Lead Open On Spending

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Senate’s lead Republican on transportation is signaling openness to more spending than his caucus leaders have said they will agree to.

Sen. Joe Gimse told Capitol reporters Thursday that he would consider voting for proposals to raise revenue as long as the money doesn’t come from taxes. The Willmar Republican said he would consider money from gambling, surcharges or fees.

Budget talks have stalled as Republican leaders insist on a $34 billion spending limit and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton pushes to add nearly $2 billion to that, mainly from new high-end income taxes.

Gimse says he hopes to avoid a government shutdown that would start July 1 without a budget deal.

He has been touring the state and says a shutdown would unnecessarily idle about 20,000 construction workers.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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