Day four of Minnesota government shutdown

Fizzle instead of sizzle

 A day usually spent in glorious relaxation and filled with fun is, for many in Minnesota, being spent fraught with anxiety and filled with fail.

It’s the fourth of July and while the legislators who failed to balance the state budget continue to collect their
paychecks, the 22,000 laid off state employees will not.

Think of those state workers as the ice-cubes in the legislator’s
drinks this weekend  — as taxpayers they — and all Minnesotans —
contribute to the cool refreshment in the legislator’s hands, the
delightful tinkle of ice in the sweltering heat, the refreshment of cold
sips and wet lips — while at the same time the workers slowly melt
under the pressure of the heat of being unemployed.

Governor Dayton says that those involved in the negotiations need a “breather”. That “breather” entails lost wages for the 23,000 Minnesota workers laid off of work.

From MPR News:

“Gov. Mark Dayton says while he’s willing to meet over the next few
days with Republican legislative leaders, he said negotiators need a
“breather” and that he expects to begin reaching out on Tuesday to
Republicans and DFLers legislators, “anyone with ideas who can help get
this resolved.”

His comments came during a taped interview this afternoon with Tom
Crann, host of MPR’s All Things Considered. Portions of the interview
will be aired tonight during the show.

Asked about when talks might happen next, Dayton said he’d been
strategizing with staff about finding “responsible compromise solutions”
to make the state government shutdown as short as possible.

He said he planned to have “individual conversations over the
weekend” and then “begin next Tuesday to reach out to Republicans and
others to get the impasse resolved.

Asked why wait until Tuesday, Dayton said negotiators had met around
the clock for eight days straight and “Sometimes you just need a little
bit of a breather. Things ended on a harsh note last night….people are
in more need of a good night’s sleep than another haranguing.””

By all means, let’s make sure the legislators and Governor Dayton get a long holiday weekend “breather” after their arduous acrimony and exhausting posturing. And let this “breather” be paid for by Minnesotans and taken on the backs of the 23,000 state employees who will not continue to collect their paychecks.

CP News reports:

“Budget talks fell apart late Thursday, closing off major family
sites, costing taxpayers their holiday fun and forcing thousands of
state worker layoffs.

The budget impasse furloughs about 23,000 of the roughly 36,000 Minnesota state employees.

State
funding ran out on July 1, forcing all but the most critical state
government functions to shut down indefinitely including websites, permit offices, highway rest stops, the state lottery, and state-funded tourist sites.”


Minnesota Shutdown hits vulnerable first


The shutdown includes lost services for many at risk populations. NPR reports:

“Minnesota’s second shutdown in six years was striking much deeper
than the partial 2005 shutdown. It took state parks and rest stops
offline, closed horse tracks and made it impossible to get a fishing
license. But it also was hitting the state’s most vulnerable, ending
reading services for the blind, silencing a help line for the elderly
and stopping child care subsidies for the poor.

Some can’t hold on for long…” Read the entire article here.

What’s open during the shutdown?

The Pioneer Press has a list of what’s open. Check it out here.

Anger sparks instead of fireworks as Minnesotans get pusillanimous government leadership on this patriotic holiday. There is a parade of dissatisfaction to go along with the political picnic of irresponsibility.