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Jobs and Economic Development bill spares Iron Range taconite fund

Iron Rangers were pleased that the $250 million Jobs and Economic Development bill that passed Tuesday spared the Rangers’ Taconite Economic Development Fund from a $60 million cut, but all DFLers urged a “no” vote on the measure.

Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, thanked the bill’s crafters “on behalf of the people in the taconite area,” but criticized where the spending increases included in the legislation come from.

After negotiations, the bills swung Dayton’s way and the final proposal nearly mirrored his spending targets. To get to those spending levels, revenue had to be redirected from schools and tobacco settlement payments.

Anzelc said the legislation is “paid for in a dangerous, irresponsible way.” It passed 76-50.

The bill is intended to create jobs and spur economic growth and includes funding for new ventures like the Minnesota Science and Technology Authority.

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