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Effort by Wisconsin and Minnesota to save money together off to slow start

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New Richmond, 54017
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It's been four months since the governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota said they could each save $10 million by doing things together.

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But the effort appears to be off to a much slower start than expected.

The Associated Press said Wisconsin has only saved $74,000 so far.

And while Minnesota's governor refused to give a similar figure, the A.P. said it could only quantify about $2,500 in savings there.

State Assembly Republican Kitty Rhoades of Hudson said there has not been any savings that "regular people at the grocery store would be interested in." Wisconsin got a better price on government software from a Minnesota contract.

And the Badger State received most of an extra $200,000 collected in joint wage garnishments for various debts.

Minnesota agencies still expect savings, but they're not sure how much.

Both states have scrapped some operations they do very differently, like predicting air quality and inspecting carnival rides.

But spokesmen for both governors say their collaboration is just getting started.

Lee Sensenbrenner of Gov. Jim Doyle's office says every tax dollar counts, and whatever savings have been found are real.

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