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Pawlenty signs plan to cut $312 million in state spending

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Tax breaks meant to lift start-up companies and encourage existing businesses to expand are now law in Minnesota.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday signed off on tax credits totalling $100 million over the next three years. Among the potential beneficiaries are developers at the Mall of America and Ford Motor Co., if officials reverse a decision to close a St. Paul truck plant.

At the same time Pawlenty and lawmakers were celebrating the tax cuts, the governor quietly acknowledged signing a plan to cut $312 million in state spending. The move is part of an effort to solve a nearly $1 billion deficit.

The biggest chunk comes from aid to cities and counties, which would fall by $100 million.