- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Senate has passed a budget bill that funds state government and starts making payments on a new office building for state senators.

Senate lawmakers passed the bill Monday on a 36-27 vote, with all Republicans objecting. It’s the first of many pieces that need to move as the Legislature begins assembling the state’s $40 billion budget.

A vote on funding for public colleges and universities was expected later Monday.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved an amendment banning any state funds from being used to build a new Major League Soccer stadium in Minnesota. Republican senators tried and failed to strip out lease payments for a new office building expected to open next year.

Democratic Sen. Richard Cohen says failing to make those payments would damage the state’s credit rating.

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