Countdown To Shutdown: Minnesota Lawmakers’ Budget Talks End With No Deal
Will there be a midnight hour deal that prevents this or do you think Minnesota will shut down? This whole thing stinks of political posturing for the sake of posturing. It seems they are playing chicken for each others egos rather than truly working together for the citizens who elected them to office.
A Minnesota government shutdown became more likely Wednesday with each tick of the clock.
Budget talks ended late Wednesday after six straight days of meetings without a deal to break an impasse over the $5 billion deficit.
“We do not have a deal,” Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said just before 10 p.m.
Gov. Mark Dayton and some legislative leaders had said Wednesday was the latest a budget deal could be completed and still have time to call 200 legislators back to the Capitol in a special session today to either pass the full budget or a temporary budget. The governor’s staff and legislative leaders refused to say if they still believed that Wednesday was the deadline.
No negotiation sessions had been scheduled for today, but both sides indicated that still could happen.
Many Minnesotans would feel a state government shutdown, even though a judge is allowing more than a third of state employees to stay on the job.
People stopping at a highway rest area or planning an excursion to a state park, forest or recreation area may be inconvenienced if a shutdown begins on Friday, but Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin of Ramsey County District Court ruled Wednesday that public safety and health programs would remain operating even if there is no state budget.
State troopers and prison guards would remain on duty, and most state-funded health-care programs would continue during a state shutdown. Local government payments would be made. Nursing homes would stay open. Colleges and universities would operate. Temporary assistance to needy families would continue.
But parks and most state child-care programs would close. Lottery tickets would not be available. The state’s two horse-racing tracks would close. State highway construction would stop.
State officials are sorting out the ruling to see how far its impact will reach.