And so Minnesota’s government and a number of “non-critical” state services are shut down until further notice as of today.
Visitors won’t be able to go to the state parks or the zoo, and travelers will find the highway rest stops shuttered. Road construction projects will cease, as will licensing for teachers and businesses.
Many social service agencies will lose their funding, cutting state support for programs such as job training and homelessness prevention. Those that don’t have reserves will likely close their doors.
And up to 23,000 state workers are scheduled to be laid off, though they will continue to get health benefits and can return to their jobs when the budget impasse is resolved.
Basic health and safety services will continue, a judge ruled on Wednesday. The state must continue funding custodial care for residents in prisons, treatment centers and nursing homes. The state troopers will continue to patrol. The state universities will also remain open.
Dem Gov. Mark Dayton wants to close the state’s $3.6 billion shortfall with a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes on the wealthiest 2%. Republicans vowed that zero tax hikes will be acceptable and want to take out every bit of the shortfall on the working class, the elderly, and the poor after passing a $200 million tax cut on businesses. They then shut down the government in response. Sound familiar?
Now we go to the “Who will the voters blame?” stage of the negotiations. Meanwhile, thousands of state workers don’t know when they are going to go back to work again. Best irony? The state’s unemployment and job force workers are as of today out of a job to go to.
If they can’t get 100% of what they want, Republicans blow up the whole thing. As goes Minnesota, so goes the nation?