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Time ebbs to avert Minnesota government shutdown

By Martiga Lohn

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, June 29 2011 5:05 p.m. MDT

Attorney David Lillehaug, representing Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton talks to the media outside the Governor's office on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 in St. Paul. The operation of Minnesota state government would be restricted to critical functions in a shutdown that's less than two days away, a judge ruled Wednesday, raising the stakes as Dayton and Republican legislative leaders try to strike a budget deal that has eluded them for months

The Star Tribune, Jim Gehrz, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP lawmakers have broken off budget negotiations but might still meet again in a last-ditch effort to break their budget impasse and prevent a state government shutdown.

The Democratic governor had said Wednesday was the last day to prevent a shutdown, but a meeting with top Republican leaders broke up just after 5 p.m. with no immediate plans to meet again. Dayton and the Republicans had met on and off throughout the day.

Representatives of both the governor and the GOP Senate majority leader say another meeting Wednesday night is still possible. Thursday is the final day of the current two-year budget cycle.

Earlier Wednesday, a judge issued a bare-bones list of services that must be maintained if state government shuts down Friday at 12:01 a.m.

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