As of today, most of Minnesota’s government closed for business. State lawmakers couldn’t reach an agreement on the budget, specifically how to deal with taxes and the $5 billion deficit.
Much like the debt ceiling fight on the national level, Minnesota Republicans are refusing to raises taxes under any circumstances (somewhere Grover Norquist is smiling), arguing the state should rely on deeper cuts in health and welfare spending. Governor Mark Dayton proposed raising taxes on individuals making more than $180,000, and discussions hit a wall last night.
The shutdown means the layoff of 22,000 state workers. In addition to the Capitol, many government outposts also went dark including state parks, the DMV, road construction, child-care assistance for the poor and even the state zoo.
Services deemed critical, like the State Patrol, prisons and disaster response unit, will remain open.
This is the state’s second government shutdown in six years.