ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — There's a new pledge drive at Minnesota's Capitol that could leave the state with an even bigger budget reserve.

Gov. Mark Dayton challenged House Republicans on Tuesday to back off some of their $2 billion in proposed tax cuts. He says he'll match them dollar-for-dollar by reducing his proposed spending by the same amount, with each diverting those savings to the state's rainy day reserves.

Dayton has proposed spending virtually every dollar of a projected $1.8 billion surplus. Republicans are reducing spending in some areas of the budget to bulk up their tax-cut package. But their tax plan would also guide $100 million into the state's reserve fund.

Minnesota has about $1.3 billion in its two main reserve accounts, which it could tap in an economic downturn.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are aiming to provide extra money as the state struggles to get a bird flu outbreak under wraps.

The deadly H5N2 virus continues to spread in the nation's largest turkey producing state. Twenty-eight farms had been hit as of Tuesday, killing more than 1 million birds. Federal officials have sent in several teams of experts to Minnesota to monitor and stem the virus' spread.

The Senate approved a bill Tuesday providing nearly $900,000 in emergency funds for response efforts. The House passed a similar bill last week.

Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he'll sign the bill immediately. He says the state will do it everything it can to help Minnesota's turkey farmers.

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