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State Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, outlines what could be a $5 billion state budget deficit to about eight people who attended her town hall meeting Monday afternoon at Bemidji City Hall. She is holding similar sessions in 12 other Senate 4 cities through Thursday. (Brad Swenson/Bemidji Pioneer)

Concerns over Minnesota's expected budget shortfall voiced at Bemidji town hall meeting

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BEMIDJI - The worsening economy may push the projected state budget deficit beyond $5 billion, shelving many popular Democratic ideas for health care and education reform, fears Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji.

"We are going to have to set some priorities," Olson said Monday afternoon during a town hall meeting at Bemidji City Hall. Also attending was Rep.-elect John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

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