ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A tax relief measure now moving on a faster track in the Minnesota Senate could mean immediate breaks for at least 300,000 people.

The Democratic-crafted proposal unveiled Wednesday could get a floor vote as soon as Thursday if Republicans agree to allow it to circumvent normal rules.

The $434 million bill is the companion to a bigger House version. Gov. Mark Dayton has pressed for a final package by this week so filers could claim new exemptions and deductions on the taxes they're filing this year.

Among the recipients would be those eligible for working family credits, recent college graduates paying off loans and certain tuition allowances.

 

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Minnesota Senate say a big slice of the state's budget surplus should be used to scale back the sales tax.

Minority Leader David Hann has proposed that a half-penny be chopped off sales taxes collected at the cash register starting this summer. That would take the rate from 6.875 percent to 6.375 percent.

The cut would cost about $362 million in its first year, about one-fourth of the projected surplus.

Hann says it would give taxpayers immediate assistance and keep the state from collecting more money than it needs.