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Minn. lawmakers take 1st step toward disaster bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A joint House-Senate committee is beginning the work of developing a storm disaster aid package that Minnesota lawmakers will consider in an emergency session next month.

A working group for the Legislature was convening Wednesday night. It will help shape the proposal that is the only agenda item for a Sept. 9 special session.

Legislators are pulling together a state match for federal disaster assistance. Eighteen counties could be in line for aid to recover from severe storms in June that caused widespread damage to infrastructure, homes and property. Two other counties could get state help paying bills from weather emergencies last winter.

The working group includes top finance committee lawmakers from the House and Senate.