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Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the $1.2 billion deficit reported Wednesday in the current two-year state budget can be solved. He said he wants to work on it with lawmakers, but prefers to plug the gap with budget cuts. -- photo by Don Davis/Minnesota Capitol Bureau

UPDATE: New budget deficit set at $1.2 billion

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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's state budget will be $1.2 billion in deficit if lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty don't take action, state leaders learned today.


And the state faces a $5.4 billion deficit in 2012 and 2013.

The current budget deficit is 3.7 percent of the state budget.

State Finance Commissioner Tom Hanson blamed a weak economy and said the recovery will be long.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.