Minnesota State Workers Prepare For Layoffs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We are exactly one month away from a state government shutdown if Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers can’t agree on a budget.

About 800 state employees were supposed to start getting layoff notices on Wednesday as the government prepares for a July 1 shutdown, but that didn’t happen. They, along with about 35,000 other employees, will get notices on June 10.

The workers getting notices are state troopers, conservation officers with the Department of Natural Resources and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension officers. All are in a union that requires layoff notices by certain dates, even if the shutdown doesn’t happen.

They would be out of a job temporarily, but employees deemed crucial — like state patrol officers — could be kept on during a shutdown.

Ted Bowl is a physical therapist at the Veterans home in Minneapolis, and said they have a lot of expenses this summer, and he’s not sure how they will make it.

“We have the added expense of two weddings to take care of this summer for a son and a daughter, so we are looking for opportunities to save wherever we can,” He said.

Jan Thomas and her husband both work for the state, and they’re both very concerned.

“Very apprehensive. Both my husband and I work for the state, so it’s affected us twice as much,” she said.

Governor Mark Dayton and Republican leaders are scheduled to meet Friday morning, for another attempt to resolve the budget stalemate.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

More from Pat Kessler
  • Sam I Am

    I always thought essential staff was retained. Why aren’t the secretaries, administrative staff, and people who push pencil all day not getting layed off.

    Seems like this is backwards as usual.

    • Fern

      The article said that the union requires notice. These were the people who need the notice. TRY READING AND THINKING

  • Wow

    With all these people being laid off how is it possible that the shutdown costs the state money? Seems like a good way to save money.

    • Paul

      wow do you think it is fair to the state workers to get laidoff and the legislators didn’t do their job on time and they will be paid in a extra-session I personally think this S^%ks big time Vote all incombents OUT !!

      • Dave

        Save money, not even close…
        1. we lose money paying the politicians per diem, every day, more money.
        2. Politicians will be making extra money, working an extra month.
        3. Lets say there are lay-offs, well, history has shown they’ll be back to work shortly and the state workers will recieve back pay. In other words, they’ll be on summer vacation.
        the only loser is the taxpayer

        • Linda

          You are right on, Dave. The last shut-down cost the tax payers several million dollars in back pay. It is a paid vacation for state workers. Enjoy the vacation – Explore Minnesota?

      • Lady

        Don’t blame the public employees for being laid off and then paid. The costs of figuring out who is supposed to pay which part of what benefits, and collecting that money are astronomical. Also, rent is paid on unused buildings, vehicles tend to be vandalized more, etc. And don’t stop with looking at the state elected officials… we still don’t know if there will be a federal shut down yet this fiscal year because of the deficit limit AND it would be a miracle if there is a federal budget in place October 1st for 2012. Why is this business as usual????

  • Stien

    No Sam, you just need to read the article~

    The union they belong to requires a layof notice be given a number of days prior to or an assumed State shutdown. It appears pencil pushers may be more essential than you!

  • Azuredemon

    As always we include law enforcemnet officers in the ones mentioned. It should not single out one area with direct mention and include another 35000 as a general area. Report everything not part of something.

  • tuna-free dolphin

    They’re the only ones who will notice. We should layoff the people who write the welfare checks. That would be serious progress.

    • Mike


      People wouldn’t be on welfare if they had jobs.
      People wouldn’t be on welfare if fathers were held accountable to their children.
      People wouldn’t be on welfare if their were not temporary disabled or sick.
      People wouldn’t be on welfare if they had support from stable and wealthy families.
      People wouldn’t be on welfare, if they didn’t need it.
      People who need welfare and don’t receive their checks are not going away.

  • Tornadotom

    Wonder how much $$ we would save if they laid off people like Franken and Dayton??

    • M.

      Not enough, we should add Ellison and Klobuchar to the list too.

      • Jim

        Yes, keep the Republicans. Republicans are the answer to our budget problems. LOL.

        • dm

          You know if the Legislators were measured according to the measures they apply to schools – they would get a failing grade – I think they should get their salary docked until they can work together without the grandstanding and soundbites.

        • Paul

          throw out the BUM REBUBLICANS they are the MAIN PROBLEM to balancing the budget I would say maybe the rebublicans can pay our state workers mortages while they hold us hostage but the rebublicans DON’T PAY THEIR BILLS !!!!!!!

  • Davida

    People – reread the article. Just THIS union needs notice by a certain date. Others will get lay off notices as well, just not 30 days notice. Then it does state the troopers most likely will not get laid off as they can be deemed essential.

    • Chris

      I am a state worker and the date of July 10th is incorrect. It is June 10th. Just an fyi

      • Sorry Chris

        Chris I am sorry this is happening to you

        • Dave

          I’m sure Chris will receive back pay, as history has shown. Chris, enjoy the vacation.

  • Ryan K

    How about Gov. Dayton get taxed on all his money he hides in South Dakota. Bet he wouldn’t want to raise taxes on the rich and the budget would get solved.

    • The Banker


      Get a life. You are talking about a trust taken out in 1934. I doubt very much that 77 years later there is a single penny still held in trust.

      • @the banker

        I say prove it. He should be taxed at the rate of his proposed plans. And if he wants to keep his trust fine, but he can volunteer to pay the same taxes as his proposal to the state of MN. That would be real leadership.

        • realist

          Basically agree. However, you may remember that Dayton, unlike all the other higher income politicians I can think of, regardless of political party affiliation, donated his senator salary last time around in recognition of his wealthier status. And if you are one of those who just criticizes along party lines, then also remember that Dayton’s inheritance/personal wealth is substantially less than that of any of the Bush family politicians who also have a tradition of protected family trust/investment $$.

    • tom

      I agree, why he was voted in as a governor when he hides his money elsewhere is beyond me

      • Mike


        How do you propose taxing wealth when you can’t get Republicans to tax income or business?

  • scott

    Because they’d be laid-off, their contracts require them to be paid the vacation and sick time they’ve earned and six months of health insurance from the state.
    The tab on that is estimated at between $200-$300 million. That’s all of the state “laid off” employees. Not to mention the cost and over time to start things back up and to get caught up.

    • Barry

      Why do you lie or are you that unknowing? I am a state worker. Vacation is like most private sector employers. You earned it so you are owed it. We do not get to cash is our sick leave and health care ends after the next full month of coverage. Hope you undersyand this now.

  • Reality Bites

    I wonder how many of the top two percent of wage earners in Minnesota are expecting lay off notices?

    • Cry me a river I love swimming

      Probably none so let’s hate them (or their families) for making wise financial or occupational choices.

      • sam

        eat me

      • I love America

        Welcome to America!! Enjoy the spoils!! Isn’t it great to make so much? Let the Democrats complain…. Who cares

  • dayton is lame

    Thats how the Dems create jobs….

    Good job Dayton, way to work together. FAIL!
    Housing market way down, a shut down looming…

    Start buying commodities again…

    • Sandra Bluem

      The GOP is “lame”. They are the ones not willing to compromise. That is how they do things. They don’t care who suffers as long as they get what they want. They vote NO (unanimously, I might add) to everything a Democrat proposes out of spite. It takes TWO sides to work together & not just one side giving in to the other!!!!!!!

      • what-the-heck?

        HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!! As spoken by a true Liberal! We’re talking about a GOP solution to giving away hard earned money that we middle class people earn and have earned for 50 years or so………NOT giving to the “OTHER SIDE” as you call it. Besides, I’ve worked in private industry for the 50+ years and know what lay-offs are about. It’s about time the government sector take their turn!!
        How old are you??? Yes… your attitude fuels the Liberal follies.

        • Jim

          what-the-heck, I’m having a hard time understanding your post. What does this mean?: “We’re talking about a GOP solution to giving away hard earned money that we middle class people earn and have earned for 50 years or so.” Wow. That’s some nonsense right there. The GOP wants to give money taken from the middle class to…who? 50 years? What?

          You also quoted Sandra as writing “OTHER SIDE,” but Sandra didn’t write that. I know elementary school kids who compose more readable posts without fake quotes. How old are you? What your post “spoken” by a true conservative?

      • atSandra

        An argument based on emotion is not very constructuve. It takes two to compromise, and I have not heard and serious compromises from either side. Govenor Dayton is just as guilty as the Republicans. The Replublicans voted no unanimously for bills they are opposed to on principle and they were not allowed to negotiate any compromise on those bills. They played the roll of a minority party, and they did it well. They were rewarded with more seats in the 2010 elections. if they over play their hand, 2012 will reverse that trend. We will see in short order what the people really want. I personally want more responcibility in gov’t spending.

        • Mike


          Gov Dayton has compromised by offering cuts in services and tax increases for the upper 2%. The Republicans on the other hand only want services cuts. Now please explain again how Republicans are compromising?

  • Par-tea

    I’ll say it again….

    MN does not have a tax problem….
    Mn has a SPENDING problem!

    Tough to say we have a tax problem when we are one of the highest taxed states in the US!

    REFORM over Taxation!

    MN workers…you have no one except Dayton and yourselves to blame….

    • We are not highest tax state

      With all the tax breaks given out, what revenue is taken in leaves Minnesota average as far as taxes goes. The numbers look high, or highest, but in reality we (all of us) pay an average tax. It bothers me that those who know this refuse to say it making it sound as if we are the highest taxed state. I am so sick of lies one party spits out.

      • nice argument

        Your argument is so full of flaws!

        “The numbers look high, or highest, but in reality we (all of us) pay an average tax.”

        What your saying is take the highest taxed people in the MN and compare them to the people who make nothing and GET all of the tax breaks?

        I guess you are correct….and this proves we are more socialist than you think!

        If you average it out……your right…the ones who PAY in get the shaft as the welfare recipients SPEND more than they pay!!!

        And it’s SO BAD here in MN that people FLOCK here and what happens then? We need to tax the people who actual PAY IN! There is your “average”!

        So…what we need?


        • Denial

          Check your facts. Minnesota has a high tax rate but in reality after tax breaks Minnesota does not have the higest tax in the states. It is about average. Who gets those breaks is across the board. But those who want to spin they will deny the facts.

          • tax and tea

            @ Denial…..
            your reply is confusing…..
            Are you saying we don’t have high taxes or we DO have high taxes…..

            “Who gets those breaks is across the board. But those who want to spin they will deny the facts”

            Let’s use propery tax for example…..if you make under a certian amount…you GET a property tax refund! BUT why would you! The plow goes right past your house the same it does your neighbors house who may make more money than you.

            How about this…..they say property taxes largest portion goes to schooling….

            So If you have 3 kids….you get a tax break….and even a property tax break, and would pay LESS in taxes, yet if I do NOT have children, and make the SAME amount…a LARGER % of my income goes to taxing! And I do NOT have any children in school!
            So why should I pay MORE when I have NO children in school compared to you who pays LESS and has children in school.

            Or welfare…..Do people on welfare get the SAME police and fire protection I have? And they pay NOTHING!

            The bottom line is the people that pay the MOST in taxes are the ones who use the services rendered by tax money the LEAST!

            I’ll say it again….

            MN does not have a tax problem….
            Mn has a SPENDING problem!

            • YUK

              Before I was married they built a new community center that I would not use. I was aksed to sign a patition to get it built off of my property tax money. I said yes even though I did not have kids or would use it. We need to contribute to the community we live in. Those who say they don’t want to pay tax for schools saying they don’t have children to attend that school have no sense of community. Those who say they pay for things they don’t use and then say we have a spending problem because they don’t want to pay for those things really are narrow minded and lack productive use in the community in which they grip about how things MUST go their way or else. Yuk

              • YUM!

                Or else?

                I don’t understand your comment. I never mentioned “or else”…..

                Bottom line is I still PAY my property taxes knowing where it goes…(also knowing I have NO CHOICE) but my point is I like how the people who want the MOST pay the LEAST!

                I would have done what you did as well…paying for a community center as it will increase my HOUSE value! It puts my house in a community where it will draw a higher class of resident…..

                So I see why you did that…..but you have NO problem paying more and using less? Now all you get is it’s “OUR” fault for complaining that they want to raise my taxes? The “buck” has to stop somewhere!

                It’s people like you that allow the tax rate to go through the roof!

          • You are in denial

            A tax rate is the rate at which you are taxed. Amount paid in taxes/amount earned. tax breaks reduce the amount paid in taxes, and would reduce the rate, correct. That is the effective tax rate. And the effective tax rate is what you use to compare all the states. In that case, MN is still one of the highest taxed states in the union.

            I do not mind paying taxes, but I sure expect those funds to be spent wisely.

      • Loving it in Colorado

        WHOA… HOLD ON!!!

        I just moved to Colorado, my income taxes just dropped by 30%, and I’m enjoying the nice weather.. I don’t miss the MN high taxes… it’s the next best thing to the “Boston Tea Party”


    • Paul

      par-tea how much has your property taxes gone up in the last 10 years most have gone up almost 250% because of your butbud pawlenty! cannot blame the DEMOCRATES for that !!! rebublicans have NO CLUE

  • tiz the truth

    Why Repo…..to send them thank you notes? Or like a typical DFL’er throw Human DooDoo at their houses?

  • Government Union Man

    “Shut it Down!” … “Shut it Down”… “Shut it Down” … the people have spoken!
    Mn has a SPENDING problem! Mn has a SPENDING problem! Mn has a SPENDING problem!

  • Steph

    Government shutdowns don’t save the government money. On the contrary, they’re pricey. For example, after 10 days, state workers are eligible for layoff pay. Many will burn vacation time to keep a paycheck coming in, but even then they don’t see the cash right away. They won’t actually get it until the budget is passed. But it will cost the state about $2 million a day. And the cost of preparing for a shutdown is considerable, even if the state doesn’t go toes up. In 2001, it cost $2.7 million, even though the state didn’t shut down.

  • JB

    Why not send them to Daytons places of residence too? It takes two to negotiate and Dayton failed at least as much as the GOP Legislature.

  • kevin

    Dayton and all the dems.. Let’s raise taxes 10% across the board on everyone and let the spening begin. Pary time!

  • upnorth

    Lets lay off all state employees. Cops, guards everyone. Let the prisoners out of jail and tell them they have to report back if and when there is a budget. Oh and yes all crimes related to the shutdown can be recovered by suing the elected for not doing thier job. Bet you next year there would not be a “special Session”.

    • bang bang

      Thank God I own GUNS….and lot’s of bullets….I’m all for this….

      • tom

        so am i, shut her all down

    • upnorth... your mistake

      By law, cops, prison guards will not be laid off…

      • upnorth

        thats to bad and most of you missed the simple point. If state workers were all to be laid off the state would go into a tail spin as they are the back bone what keeps business and the environment running. Try to think with clarity for once. If the farmer who wants his check from the state can’t get it because no state worker is there does “business” suffer? The same for your drive to work on roads that are safe or cleared of snow. Or how about your trip to see something outside the cement cities like cleaner air and water, maybe fishing or sailing at a state park. The size of goverment is what it is becasue citizens like you and me wanted the services in the past. If we want less know thats ok just understand you get to use for your personal reasons – what you want to pay for. Thats why I said let the prisoners out and they will feed on us a bit and your question will be “where is the hell is the state”. I myself am like bang bang above and waiting with my ammo at ready

  • Oscar

    Lay’m all off and everybody promise to be nice for a year. Budget solved.

    • hewes

      state employees do not impact the budget much – its people who use the services of farming, education and human services.

      • Lonesome George

        State employees, their pensions, healthcare, salaries, etc. take up the bulk of the budget. It grows every year and is unsustainable, You cannot budget for it because the cost of healthcare increases every year. .

        • Stop gov't waste!!!

          The auto industry got rid of pensions, and the unions disgust. Now the auto industry is making a come back, after almost collapsing. Huh, let’s cut govt pensions

        • frustrated

          Lonesome George, I feel you are severely misinformed. State workers do not make much money at all and their healthcare is actually quite low because of how many people are collectively putting in. Group effort decreases the prices since more are putting into a large pot. And a lot of people I know who work for the state at retirement age cannot afford to do so.

          • Lonesome George

            I worked for the state (conservation department) so I do know what they make, but its not just state workers. City workers are paid by the city but cities are subsidized by the state so everyone is on the hook for what cities pay employees including healthcare, pensions, etc. Without this state funding cities like Mpls, Duluth, and St Paul would be in real trouble meeting their obligations to these workers and retireees.

      • tom

        no, it is the entitlement crowd that gets their “check” every 1st of the month that hurts everyone.

  • At Reop Man

    Oh come on liberal, I thought liberals were so much better than everyone else. You sound enraged. Seek therapy.

  • Find out where they live? Why?

    Find out where they live so they can what? Threaten them? This sounds like a threat and a criminal one too.

  • Ruth

    Let’s do away with the politicians running this state and this country and let working class people, like accountants, auditors and businessmen take over. The ONLY people who should be “laid off” are the politicians who WON’T balance the budget; better yet, they shouldn’t receive a paycheck until they do.

  • Jake

    I am a state employee, who will get laid off if there is no budget settlement. That being said how much more debt can we accumulate? The out of control spending needs to stop now. Raising taxes is NOT the answer. Spending cuts are hard decisions, but need to be made. Time for all the free money to stop being handed out.
    Our legislatures have been in St. Paul since January and still couldn’t get the job of a budget done. Time to throw the whole works out and put people in who can get the job done – Dem – Rep – or whomever.

  • DAVE

    Sorry guys, but welcome to the real world. When the dollars aren’t coming in the tax payers get layed off. However, funny how they make a big noise about laying off Police, Firemen, Medical people, but don’t mention the MinDot People or the clerks, lawyers and etc. They want to scare people by only mentioning the very last people they will actually lay off. Maybe Dayton had better rethink his strategy of forcing a Government Shut down. If people see how well the Government can run with fewer people, the voters will ask why we have so many to begin with.

  • Joseph M. Gerads

    They should lay off the Hennepin county social workers the money they spend to fight parents in the court system just so they have jobs for their friends. The fraud in that system alone cost the tax payers millions of dollars a year. As they put it the ” best intrest of the child” The fraud in their “foster care program” runs the state even more money. Hennepin county will spend what ever it takes just to keep their little privite game run. Even threats, bribles, lies. ect.

    • Julie

      I personally know two HC social workers that have retired and are collecting a check from HC….

      I don’t feel sorry at all… Enjoy the vacation state workers!!

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