Minn. State Workers Uncertain About Finances, Future

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Unemployed state workers are scrambling, trying to figure out how they are going to keep a roof over their heads and feed their families. In fact, some feel like they’re between a rock and a hard place.

As the shut-down looms ever closer, it’s forcing some state workers to think about things they’ve never had to think about before — such as budgeting for their uncertain futures.

Leigh Jorento and Jason Moran are two state workers with very different lives, but with equal frustration. They both work for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

For Jorento, it means planning for a family of four. Her husband will also be unemployed if an agreement isn’t reached in less than 6 hours. For the first time in her life, she is applying for unemployment — with two kids and one in college.

“This has been very stressful for me and my family not knowing what’s going on,” said Jorento. “Legislature has had a long time to work this out. Don’t know why it has to come to this.”

Jason Moran is single, but it doesn’t necessarily make things easier.

“I’ve canceled vacations, working with the bank with the mortgage,” said Moran. “Canceled everything except for groceries.”

Moran been planning for unemployment for two months. However, it’s the job he’s leaving behind that has him the most concerned. He works for the emergency response team and if there is a major disaster, his team won’t be available.

“It just feels like a total loss for the state,” he said. “Public sector workers, private sector workers lose out because they can’t fulfill contracts with them. It’s a loss for everybody.”

More than 4,000 employees of the Minnesota Department of Transportation could also be out of work in just a few hours.

A MnDOT spokesman said they spent the day securing projects that will be sitting idle until a budget deal is reached.

More from John Lauritsen
  • GeeMan

    The fault is with the Governor. The Legislature has comprimised over and over again and all he wants to do is raise taxes / take our money !


      You can’t blame it just on the governor. THE GOP need to comprise, they can’t have everything their way-the GOP need to do what is best for the majority of MN not just the top 2% . The governor is making cuts, now the GOP need to have the very wealthy in MN increast their tax rate equal to the middle/poor class. Asresponsible citizens we need to help out our citizens, those in the nursing home, the unemployed who lost their jobs through no fault of their, those unable to work due to health reasons. I consider myself in the middle class and with all the “fees” not tax increases since Governor Pawlenty I am going to be joining the poor soon. Pawlenty helped out the rich, he did nothing for the poor man. I would say SHUT THE STATE GOVERNMENT DOWN and watch the economy follow. The wealthy won’t have a business because no one will be able to afford their products. GOP campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs and unemployment will be going up with the Shutdown.

      • Matt

        It’s not about the top 2% it’s about the spending, it’s about the size of goverment. The GOP has already went to far increasing the budget by 6% why would the increase it more? All this is about is Mark Dayton pandering to the unions trying to get them more money. He has planned on shutting down the government since day one which is why he won’t negotiate one bit.

        • tired of paying taxes

          They have to increase spending some because more people are in need due to the bad economic times. Governor Dayton is negotiating yet, I just heard via news that he’s willing to just increase tax rate on millionaries! We need good paying jobs created for these people that have lost their jobs. The rich are also taking advantage of these people by offering low paying jobs with no benefits. When the rich don’t pay their employees a decent wage and give them benefits the rest of us have to take care of them.

  • Kevin

    Get over it and join the real world! We all loose jobs and have gotten kicked around for the past 5 or 6 years…..stop crying and move on….good god…

  • Legislative Republicans, Take Note

    We, the people, are Sick of Socialism.

    Do not acquiesce to governor Dayton.

    Do not add one more dime to the budget.

    If it takes shutting down the government, then shut the government down.

    Stop this uncontrolled government spending. Now.

    We, the people, have spoken.

    • We the people

      I am not with you. Just because the GOP has a slight majority does not mean they are working for WE the people – there is a little less than half the legislative body who do not agree with the GOP budget. Yet it makes sense, many GOP today believe that if they have one more vote to be a majority then they believe they MUST speak for everyone. Politics in Minnesota has gone down to mean get-out-of-my-way-fool-and-do-what-I-say-or-else politics.

  • Emotional Blackmail?

    According to news reports on WCCO, an agreement is very close so I doubt they will lose their home in the few short days during the shutdown. I have no doubt state workers are worried, but if they don’t have any money in savings to live on then they really are a sad group.

    This article is nothing but emotional blackmail.

  • drama

    Well as a state worker, when you are paid peanuts you save next to nothing. Get over the ridiculous myth that we all make so much money. I make less than 30k per year – the average state worker salary. The GOP wants to reduce my salary and increase my benefits which would decrease my paycheck over $150 each month. I can’t live on that when I am struggling like everyone else now. It wouldn’t even be worth it to work at that point. I might as well quit and get on assistance you fine folks can continue to go to work to support another person on welfare.

    • Mark from mntaxwaste.com

      @ drama Why dont you tell us about the back pay you will be getting when this is over? We see who you really are!

      • Drama

        I don’t get any back pay. I belong to the AFSCME union and none of their members get back pay. I can’t speak for any other union though.

  • Truth hurts

    All you government public union people will go on strike in the next few years or sometime and then a government shutdown will be OK… a good thing. You are not fooling anybody. We see right through your BS. Time to get rid of life time inflation proof pensions and life time medical benefits. You people do not care about the economy because you have no skin in the game. You do not have 401K like the rest of us that can get wiped out by inflation. You life time pension is inflation proof. You bunch of bought and paid for sheep need to be sheared. Big time!

    • Drama

      My pension is not as good as you think it is…so much so that I had to open an IRA somewhere else. State workers who have been in the system a lot longer than me do have better pensions so that I can’t argue with. However I haven’t had a raise in over 4 years. I don’t get cost of living increases and inflation has already done a number on my family. Don’t think we are so much better off than you.

  • Mark from mntaxwaste.com

    You paint a sad story, to bad when this is over with, the Union workers will get all their back pay.

  • http://spinnernews.com/lastest-vacations-news-31/ Lastest Vacations News | SpinnerNews

    […] and a hard place. Read more on CBS Minnesota Share […]

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