My husband and I decided to take a bike ride through Jay Cooke  State Park on the cycle and saw this's sad!  Summer in the Northland is SOOOOOO short....and this Gov't shutdown is not allowing us to enjoy our State Parks.

Our window of road construction in the Northland is short as well, and now the equipment sits idle, waiting to be fired up again.  Get it together and let's get back to LIVIN'!

State government has been shut down now for a full week, and a budget agreement between Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders is nowhere in sight.

The standoff puts Minnesota in the national spotlight as the only state to not pass a budget. If the shutdown lasts until Sunday, it will be the longest state government shutdown since 2002.

Dayton and GOP legislative leaders did not meet Thursday to discuss the overall budget, but they did meet briefly as negotiations intensified over the K-12 budget bill. There were no offers exchanged, but an outside group made a proposal.

A commission formed by former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Gov. Arne Carlson issued recommendations that called for $2.2 billion in permanent spending cuts and $1.4 billion in tax increases. That includes a tobacco tax increase of $1.29 per pack of cigarettes, a Medicaid surcharge on hospitals, and an alcohol tax increase. The commission also recommends a temporary income tax increase on every Minnesotan.

Dayton said earlier this week that Republicans need to put forward their ideas if they don't like his.

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