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Minnesota's budget picture better, but not by much -- and trouble looms large next year

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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's current budget picture is a bit brighter than three months ago, but the next budget could be the state's biggest-ever financial challenge.

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The current budget is $944 million short, state officials announced Tuesday, but depending upon what legislators and the governor do in the next few months the budget that begins in mid-2011 could end up with an $8 billion hole. The best scenario for the 2011-12 budget is a $2.8 billion deficit.

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