MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton will hit the road Tuesday morning to tout his budget plan and to criticize Republican lawmakers.
As Minnesota enters day 12 of the state shutdown, there are still no signs that state leaders are closer to compromise. Instead, the two sides once again pointed fingers Monday. Dayton says he will not agree to any more cuts, but he said he’s considering new ways to close the $1 billion gap between him and Republicans.
That includes expanding the sales tax or raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. The GOP is against any tax hikes.
Caught in the middle of the lawmaker’s struggle are the 22,000 state workers out of a job. One of those workers is Jane Altendorfer, an accounting clerk at the transportation headquarters.
She says she is frustrated, and she has a lot of places to point the blame.
“I’m a pawn in this chess game of balancing the state budget, and I didn’t ask for it,” she said.
Altendorfer wants the Dayton and the Republican leadership to put aside their differences and get to work on a budget, no matter how long it takes. That means, she said, working all day, all night, every day.
And she especially doesn’t like the Dayton’s plan for a multi-city speaking tour.
“Forget it!” she said. “Get back and get the job done. I mean come on! How can you be on the road when you should be at the Capitol getting the job done?”
Dayton also posted a message on YouTube Monday, saying: “Republicans insist on having it all their way or no way. That’s not responsible or even rational leadership.”
No new talks are scheduled at the Capitol between the lawmakers.
Altendorfer wrote a letter to the Republican leaders and the governor expressing her resentment and her desire to get back to work. She still has her layoff notice.
“As a taxpayer and a state employee, I think they’ve let me down,” she said.
Now Altendorfer is using her shutdown-induced free time to balance her own budget as the longest shutdown in state history continues.