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Four Republican lawmakers listen to a Feb. 1 debate about whether Minnesota should allow coal-fired power plants or the state to buy electricity from coal plants. From left are Reps. Paul Anderson of Starbuck, David Hancock of Bemidji, Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa and Dan Fabian of Roseau. Hancock and Fabian are freshman legislators. Pioneer File Photo/Don Davis

New lawmakers willing to negotiate, but not on taxes or total spending

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ST. PAUL -- Pressure of the clock ticking toward a potential state government shutdown does not seem to affect the resolve of Republican legislators, many of whom are rookies who say they were elected to keep government in check.

Rep. Dave Hancock of Bemidji summarized the GOP stance: "In the long term, we have to keep spending under control."

But freshman lawmakers say they are willing to bargain on other things.

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