Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While many of Minnesota’s more than 22,000 laid-off workers are excited to hear they’ll soon be returning to work, not all of them are happy about the way they would return to work.
“When you are talking taxes, just even it out. Even it out and I will shut up. But if it’s not even, it’s not fair,” said Terry Alvarado.
Alvarado has spent the past two weeks at home, laid-off from her job with the Minnesota Department of Education. It is a job she’s held for 32 years. She is eager to return to work, but not so excited about the proposal that would send her back.
“My first thought was that it actually brought tears to my eyes. Because I really believe what he has stood for,” said Alvarado.
Alvarado wanted to see Gov. Mark Dayton stick by his plan to tax the richest Minnesotans, but Dayton has agreed to the GOP plan that doesn’t involve taxing the rich. That means staying with a tax plan that Alvarado believes still favors the state’s top earners.
“We need to serve the needs of Minnesota. We are just fundamentally going in the wrong direction,” said Alvarado.
On another side of town there is more tempered enthusiasm that a deal could be reached.
“This system has been turned off for maintenance,” said Jerry Riege.
That’s the message Riege sees when he tries to process a new fishing license. He’s the manager of Capra’s Outdoors in Blaine. He says no fishing license, means no fishing trip in Minnesota. And that means gas stations, resorts, and sporting goods stores are losing out. The new deal puts an end to that, but it can’t replace the past two weeks.
“It just drives me nuts that all the money we have lost in 14 days could have been half of what they are fighting about. Our state has a lot of tourism and people are going to go to South Dakota or other places, have a good time, and not come back if this isn’t fixed,” said Riege.
Riege told us that fishing licenses won’t make or break his store, but the loss of fishing equipment sales adds up when they can’t sell a license.
Riege is glad a budget agreement has been reached, because he doesn’t want to think about what would happen if somehow the shutdown carried into the hunting season.