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Conference committee breakdown listed

ST. PAUL -- Major conference committees in the Minnesota Legislature, along with a bill summary and local legislators on each committee: Capital investment -- Comments: Allocates borrowed money and cash for public works projects. Conference commi...

ST. PAUL -- Major conference committees in the Minnesota Legislature, along with a bill summary and local legislators on each committee:

Capital investment

-- Comments: Allocates borrowed money and cash for public works projects. Conference committee passed, but it could face a veto because it is four times the size of the governor's proposal.

-- Northern legislators: Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon (co-chairman). Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown.

Transportation funding

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-- Comments: House and Senate both voted for 10-cent-a-gallon increase in gasoline tax, plus other tax and fee increases to fund highway and transit projects. The governor opposes the tax increases and says he would veto any bill that looks like what either chamber passed.

-- Northern legislators: Rep. Bernie Lieder, DFL-Crookston (co-chairman).

Economic development

-- Comments: Appropriates money for many of the state's business-related, housing and economic development programs.

-- Northern legislators: Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm (co-chairman). Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown (co-chairwoman). Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia. Rep. Frank Moe, DFL-Bemidji.

Agriculture/veterans affairs

-- Comments: This is one bill the governor says he likes. It doesn't spend much money, but does fund things like ethanol incentives and veterans' programs.

-- Northern legislators: Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley.

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Environment/natural resources

-- Comments: Funds Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency and energy programs. Also makes changes in outdoors-related laws.

-- Northern legislators: Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids. Rep. David Dille, DFL-Crane Lake.

Higher education

-- Comments: Funds Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and University of Minnesota campuses.

-- Northern legislator: Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia (co-chairman).

Public safety/judiciary

-- Comments: Funds law enforcement, courts and prisons. Makes changes in criminal law.

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-- Northern legislator: Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

Public education

-- Comments: Funds early childhood education through high school. Largest budget bill.

-- Northern legislators: None.

Health/human services

-- Comments: Funds state health and human services programs, including welfare, MinnesotaCare insurance programs and others. Second largest budget bill.

-- Northern legislators: Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth (co-chairman). Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick. Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth.

State government

-- Comments: Funds Legislature and many executive branch departments.

-- Northern legislators: Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids.

Don Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Bemidji Pioneer.

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