Reality Check: Countdown To Government Shutdown

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota will send out the first of nearly 36,000 layoff notices Wednesday to state workers ahead of a possible government shutdown.

The announcement came Tuesday from the Minnesota Management and Budget office, which said 800 notices will go to law enforcement support workers.

The cause: the Minnesota legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton can’t agree on a state budget. It’s a stalemate is threatening many state programs, which would lose funding July 1, the beginning of the state’s fiscal year.

“The face to face contact we have with government every day will disappear,” said Eliot Seide, the executive director of AFSCME Council 6, the union representing 18,000 state employees. “People will notice the state government shutdown the moment it shuts down.”


The Dayton administration is ranking 36,000 state workers as essential or non-essential and the services they provide: on a priority scale 1 through 4.

Among the services that could shut down, according to state officials: State parks, including campsites and picnic areas. Road construction projects. Highway rest stops and truck weigh stations. Driver testing and processing new driver’s licenses. Applications for the state health insurance program MNCARE. Grants to local public health agencies.

Here is what you NEED TO KNOW.

Among the state employees’ services likely to be deemed “essential:” The Dayton Administration plans to keep prisons open, and prison guards working. The state patrol will still patrol state roads. And veteran’s homes and nursing homes will likely remain open, although staffing levels are uncertain.

The possible shutdown can be averted if Dayton and Republican leaders can agree on a state budget before July 1.

Dayton vetoed the entire Republican budget as “unacceptable,” and no budget talk plans have been made public.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Chuck

    You are right, let’s shut it ALL down!!! Police, road people, license etc. Let’s see if we really do need public employees!!!!

    • Mugs

      I can not respond to your comment without wanting to spew anger so I will take one from red foreman and call you a dumbass!! Funny how people like you want less government but you are the first to complain when something takes too long. self rightous A-hole.

  • Tom

    “The face to face contact we have with government every day will disappear,” said Eliot Seide, the executive director of AFSCME Council 6

    The union goon’s words are music to my ears!!

  • State-emp-27-8-6

    Shut it all down? How could you say that? Do you know how many people, let alone families, could be at risk for losing their livelihoods all because people at the capital can’t come to a compromise.

    Why don’t both of you think of all the residents who will be affected? It’s easier to sit on the sidelines and make comments, but until you’re in a situation where your own rights of being an employee are being taken away, then try thinking of things in a different way for once.

    Politics is about people and without people, politics can’t survive. Once in a while, the “ideals” behind politics need to take a backseat to what is essential for people to survive. Just my .02.

    • Tom

      “rights of being an employee”….
      …”Politics is about people and without people, politics can’t survive.”…

      okay, spoken like a true “public servant”

      ……”try thinking of things in a different way for once.”…

      Try taking your own advice

      • State-emp-27-8-6

        Tom, before you rip into my response, why don’t you state why you disagree with it? Back up your remarks.

        Like Brett, I’m also a recent college graduate, only graduating about two years ago. I was in the private sector during and after graduation and have been in the state for just a bit of time now. I work hard and enjoy working for the public and working with people in general, even when some of them have the same attitude you have.

        I have a large amount of student loans, even though I was a great student and athlete all through high school and college. Going to college set me back quite a bit financially, and sadly, a college education is a near-must for younger adults to be competitive in the job market.

        Why did I leave the private sector and go to the public sector? I like the fit better and there’s room for expansion. In both of my private sector jobs, I held back not because of my abilties to work, but for my age and petty politics in the workplace. My perfomance meant nothing. Having come to the public sector, sure my pay is a bit less, but I do have room for advancement and the ability to invest in myself as there are programs that encourage me to continue my education while working my public sector job.

        So go ahead, mock me for serving the public and “taking my own advice”. I’m out there, along with many of the younger state employees, working hard and taking on a bit more than what is expected of us when it comes to workloads. Can you blame us for being defensive about our livlihoods on the line? It’s easy to make snide comments, but imagine yourself in our shoes.

        As a recent graduate, it’s a pretty lame idea to think that we have loads of money that we can just save up in times like this. Paying the bills and paying off student loans takes a good chunk of my budget every month and I’m a very conservative budgeter. It’s tough to get by. So think about that, and how other state workers that you so easily slam are sitting currently. It’s not all of them, but a good majority.

        I just want to work and do my job. I enjoy my job and I enjoy working for the public of Minnesota, regardless if they show the same arrogence you display.

    • RK

      Sadly, I am seeing more and more people that Have no Idea that, the state Health Dept. protects them, by inspecting foods, water, etc. They forget that weights & measures makes sure the gas pumps really do give them a gallon of gas. They forget that Realtors, contractors, Doctors, have to be licensed, otherwise anyone could pose as a Doctor and cause harm. This list goes on and on, but no room here to list it. My only advice is to get out of Government service. Chances are you can earn more in the private sector anyway. I am also suggesting that any college students change their major and stay away of teaching. Over half of the teachers entering the profession quit and move to the private sector. Too political, and again, large segement of the public dislikes teachers. Thanks for your service, sorry your family well being is at risk because of this political game that is being played.

      • Brett

        You have some good points. I’m a recent college graduate (Business) and have seen many education majors being disappointed because they currently have no job offers and few prospects within their college degree. I think more students need to find a combination of something they enjoy doing and job security in order to have a stable launching point for a career.

    • James

      “Your own rights as an employee” is definitely sounding like when I got laid off in the private sector, except my job wasn’t waiting for me, and the pay wasn’t retro-active when I returned. Seriously? In the private sector, you don’t return.

  • Robert

    Speak for yourself, not everybody agrees with you.

    • James

      the marriage amendment means more govt not less, fail!

  • RK

    I visit these comments from time to time to try and gauge how my fellow Minnesotans are reacting to events. I am amazed at how much intense dislike I see for anyone that holds a public Job. I am also seeing some ways of thinking where a firewall is put up to protect that way of thinking. Facts do not matter, people make up thier own facts, so any kind of logical debate does not matter. Teachers seem to be the most hated group, followed by any state, city, or county employee. For those of you that want a shut down, then lets shut it down. Prisons, Vets homes, Highway patrol, all of it. Empty the prisons, Turn the nut jobs loose at St. Peter and Moose Lake. I hold a permit to carry, so I really do not care, I can protect myself. But, a complete shutdown will result in loss of life, property, and add to the deficit to shut down and restart. So, shut it down, shut it all down, lets see how bad it can really get. Most people I have talked to about this have no Idea what state government does to protect them. But with a complete shut down everyone will get a much needed lesson. A Temporary surcharge on my income taxes did not kill me when Al Quie (Republican Gov.) did it in The late 70’s. I paid those taxes then and I can do it again. The Richest of Minnesotans can pitch in their fair share too. The Republican plan sent to Dayton cut aid to Cities and cut funding for property tax relief. That means the city will have to raise my taxes and I will not get any property tax relief which takes money out of my pocket, much like a tax increase. So call it what it is, cutting property tax relief is increasing taxes. Cutting aid to cities passes the tax on to property owners, which really is just another tax increase.

    • Ronald

      Cities have created an unsustainable union pension, retirement, and healthcare system for the employees. They created this mess to get elected year after year, the people in the rest of the state should not be responsible for this. Duluth offers its city workers and family a lifetime of healthcare and is breke, please justify this. We cannot have citys creating a financial mess and everyone has to bail them out for life.

  • worryfree

    Should we wheel the Veteran’s out of the doors of our Veteran’s homes if we shut down?

    • Carl

      How bout we wheel out those shovel leaners we see on the side of the road.

  • me

    OK shut it down for 1 or 2 weeks and then reopen it….

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