So far, for the 2 year budget plan, only the Department of Agriculture’s budget has been signed into law, and Minnesota statutes say that without a signed and completed bill, the state cannot spend any money at all.
With both sides at odds and no one showing an ounce of willingness to budge, Minnesota is facing a total government shut down as of July 1st.
Because the government is not doing their jobs, 36,000 state employees will be laid off. Road construction projects will be shut down as all transit employees with be unemployed.
The Stillwater lift bridge will be raised as it has been decided that waterway traffic is more economically important than road traffic. The nearest bridges are miles away, making some families commutes over an hour longer than normal.
Licensing centers will be closed to everything but renewals of license and registration.
Only services deemed “essential” will be continued, and those services will be decided in a court hearing to be held on the 23rd. Governor Daton plans to suggest to the court that Medical Assistance and food assistance be continued.
And, there’s hope in previous experience. “In the partial shut down of 2005, services such as state run hospitals, and various health care services, including nursing homes and mental health residential facilities, law enforcement and power production were all allowed to continue.” Says Catherine Richart of the Minnesota Public Radio News.
Schools are facing bigger budget cuts than normal which is dire news considering that Minnesota has already dropped from the number 1 slot in Education in the nation, to number 12. The state’s recent slew of politicians have done nothing but bring it down in both education and health care.
If the Governor and the Legislature cannot reach an agreement in time, the school district of St. Paul will be forced to take out a 100 million dollar loan, at a time when they have already been forced to lay off over 300 staff members.
Non-profit organizations with government funding are also bracing for a shut-down as well as government funded Colleges, Human Services Centers, state and county parks and libraries.
Way to completely screw this one up guys. Bravo.