ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Gov. Tim Walz has announced a series of tweaks to his budget proposal to reflect projected slower economic growth.

Walz told reporters Friday that his administration took a hard look and scaled back some proposals while sparing priority areas like education and health care.

Altogether the changes include reductions in proposed new spending of $131 million, tax changes that would bring in an additional $65 million, returning $142 million in unspent health care reinsurance funds to the general fund, and new spending of $37 million that would go mostly to higher education.

Republican leaders criticized the Democratic governor for standing by his proposals for a 20-cent gas tax increase and for preserving a tax on health care providers that expires at the end of the year despite a projected surplus.

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