Reporting Esme Murphy
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — On Tuesday, the decision was made to keep the Minnesota court system open if the state government shuts down two days from now. But what else could be added to that list? And what will remain closed?
That’s up to Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin to decide. Her ruling is expected sometime Wednesday. But without the official word, the uncertainty and the anxiety continues.
Sean Moyer is scrambling with the the help of friends to get his chimney sweep tower built at Afton State Park.
“It’s like an artificial chimney for these birds to help rehabilitate their numbers,” he said.
Sean was expecting to complete the project, which he needs for his Eagle Scout badge, over the Fourth of July weekend. But now he has to finish before Friday because the state parks will almost certainly be closed.
“Now I have had to cram this project into a shorter time period,” he said.
At Afton, there are are a lot of questions. At shops where fishing licenses are sold, business is brisk. With the long holiday weekend, anglers are scrambling.
“Everyone I have sold a license to says they are coming in to buy a license before the state shuts down,” said Kevin Kiewel.
As to what else might close? Gearin indicated last week that she will allow funding for the fewest possible programs. And with the failure of the governor and legislators to reach a deal on Tuesday — a shutdown appears to be all but a done deal.
“She now has to make a series of decisions on what is considered essential and what might be important for health and safety,” said Professor David Schultz of Hamline University.
Gov. Mark Dayton said if there is not an agreement by Wednesday, there will be a shutdown.
If there is a shutdown, transportation officials say the state would have to stop collecting fees from motorists who pay to drive solo through car pool lanes in the Twin Cities.
And Canterbury Park will move two races planned for the weekend to Thursday night.
The Minnesota Racing Commission, which oversees the race track, will close its doors if the government shuts down.
There are also more than 1,000 employees at the track who will not be working.