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food banks
state of minnesota
last ten years
Minnesota Government Is Finally Back In Business
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Minnesota Government is Finally Back In Business

For three weeks, the state of Minnesota was out of action, shut down by a failure to sign a state budget that both political parties could agree on. State workers were laid off, some of them forced to seek help from food banks and other places to get by as the time without pay dragged on and on. Other workers felt the impact of the government shut down as ancillary services and seemingly unrelated businesses were impacted by the shut down.

Workers were told to return to their jobs on Thursday after Governor Mark Dayton signed a deal that finally ended this nation’s longest state government shut down in the last ten years and cost the state millions of dollar in lost revenue. Experts and analysts are saying it is impossible to even estimate exactly how much money was lost during the nearly month long shut down because there are so many factors to consider.

Over 22,000 state employees were laid off during the shut down, state parks were closed and critical services were halted in Minnesota. Now that a deal has been signed, some but not all of those services will restart but the progress might be slow at first. Workers are saying they dread the thought of the backlog of paperwork that is going to be facing them.

Governor Dayton had wanted to raise taxes for the wealthiest members of the state but Republicans would not budge on that deal. The budget that was finally signed was a watered down version that both sides said they could accept but not be happy about. The final deal will delay school aid payments and also borrowed against future payments from tobacco company settlements but eliminated several Republican backed proposals, including one that would end funding for stem cell research and would curb some of the rights of public employees and their bargaining units.

Horse racing and bar owners are just two of the surprise groups that were impacted by the shutdown. State gambling regulators were unavailable so the racetracks remained closed until the shut down could be resolved. That cost horse owners, jockeys and others over a million dollars and left 1000 people without work. Some bars had to close their doors for the entire three weeks after being prevented from buying alcohol to refresh their stocks.

State parks were closed for the three weeks of the shut down and people have been unable to renew their driver’s license. The parks may open as soon as the coming weekend, but some are going to take much longer to open. Trash will need to be removed from the parks before they can be opened to the public. Some parks have been damaged by vandals and a few were damaged in early July’s windstorms.

Some services, especially those provided online, were up and running shortly after the deal was signed while others are still experiencing a delay and may not be back to full capacity for some time.


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