Lawmakers Convene To Vote On Ending Gov’t Shutdown

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An end to Minnesota’s nearly three-week-long state government shutdown came into view Tuesday, when Gov. Mark Dayton called the Legislature into a special session to vote on a budget deal.

The 19-day government stoppage has sullied Minnesota’s good-government reputation, while disrupting lives and businesses around the state. It will be over only after both chambers of the Republican-controlled Legislature approve nine budget bills and Dayton, a Democrat, signs them into law.

Debate on those measures was expected to stretch into Wednesday with lawmakers working overnight.

Legislative leaders and Dayton agreed before the votes began to limit the scope of the special session and lawmakers’ ability to tinker with the bills in an effort to keep the budget pact from unraveling once 200 legislators get involved.

Both chambers came to order shortly after 3 p.m., immediately broke for several hours, then started passing budget bills around dinner-time. Within two hours, both the House and Senate had sent five of nine budget bills to Dayton: spending for courts and public safety; colleges and universities; environment and energy programs; transportation; and jobs and economic development programs.

“This is an agreement that will get Minnesota back to work and will get it back to work as quickly as possible,” House Speaker Kurt Zellers said. He said lawmakers would likely work through the night to finish, with more contentious debates on tax policy, K-12 education funding and social service programs just starting up as midnight drew closer.

Dayton’s chief of staff said the governor would wait to sign the budget bills until all nine are on his desk. Administration officials said laid-off state workers would likely be called back to work the day after Dayton signs the bills.

The government stoppage idled 22,000 state employees, halted road work at the height of a short construction season, suspended lottery ticket sales and some services to the vulnerable and even interrupted the flow of alcohol to some bars. It was softened by court rulings requiring the state to keep paying schools, local governments and health care program costs. As the closure wore on, the court restored funding for services ranging from child care aid to meal delivery for the elderly.

The shutdown resulted from a months-long standoff between Dayton and Republicans legislative leaders over taxes and spending. They left most of state government without the authority to spend money when they failed to enact a new two-year budget by the end of June.

The final budget bills don’t contain the income tax increases Dayton sought, after Republicans refused to budge on that front. But they spend more than the GOP wanted to and rely on borrowed money from school districts and a stream of tobacco settlement payments to help close a $5 billion deficit.

Passage of the entire set of budget bills isn’t guaranteed. A crop of Republican newcomers in the Legislature strongly opposed adding any revenue to the budget beyond the $34 billion the state was already projected to take in over two years. Others were upset that some social issues that had been on the table were removed as one of Dayton’s conditions for a deal.

Some GOP lawmakers have refused to say how they plan to vote on the bills or ducked the question altogether. Their votes are key to passage since most of the minority Democrats are expected to vote against the budget bills.

On Tuesday, first-term Sen. Paul Gazelka, a Republican from Brainerd, said his mind has been changed over the past few days because of provisions included in bills for health and welfare programs and state government programs. He said he is likely to vote for the budget bills and guesses they will pass the Senate, where first-term Republicans make up most of the GOP caucus.

“We want to get it done and get the state moving,” Gazelka said.

Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said some operations such as road construction projects could take longer to restart.

Special session votes are also expected on a construction financing package and bills addressing pensions and the distribution of dedicated sales tax money to outdoors and cultural programs.

“Everyone will look at this, including ourselves, and say, `Well, we didn’t have this, we don’t have that, we have this we don’t want, we have that we don’t want’ — that’s just the essence of compromise,” Dayton said, adding that he was relieved the shutdown was likely to end soon.

The governor and Republican and Democratic legislative leaders signed a two-page agreement that limits the scope of the session to a dozen bills and prohibits any amendments being offered to the budget bills, a move to make it harder for rank-and-file legislators to derail the deal. The signed agreement stipulated the session would end by early Thursday, but Zellers said he hopes it will be sooner.

The deal came about after Dayton moved to accept an offer the GOP made just before the shutdown started. It would raise $1.4 billion in new revenue by delaying aid payments to schools and borrowing against future payments from a settlement with tobacco companies.

Democratic lawmakers, while saying they felt Dayton had little choice but to take the GOP offer, nonetheless criticized it by saying it was simply delaying a permanent solution to Minnesota’s persistent deficits. “It simply defers important budget decisions into the future,” said Rep. Frank Horstein, a Minneapolis Democrat.

The shutdown was Minnesota’s second government closure in six years, but this one was far more extensive than a partial closure in 2005, closing state parks and highway rest areas and creating headaches for everyone from brides who had to move weddings to newly minted professionals who couldn’t get state licenses.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Keep it going!

    What’s the rush, we are just getting started.

    Guess the government is getting scared because since 22,000 gov workers have been laid off, we the taxpayers are getting the idea that there are about 20,000 too many of them.

    • P SMITH

      No stupid the Govenor is trying to do what is right ……………..your wrong not everyone agrees with you ! we need to get our state back up and running these last 19 days have been HELL on some of us THANK YOU GOVENOR MARK DAYTON on getting us back to work!

      • waste

        Just because you don’t agree with Keep, does not mean he is wrong.
        As we have seen through this shutdown, there has been a lot of exposure to waste that is going on.
        I am not criticizing state employees, just that there is definitely some who could be let go.

        • Duh

          Why don’t you take a pay cut so your service or good you produce could be cheaper?

        • Ted

          The Department of Employment and Economic Security has been shutdown. That shuts down the Minnesota Work Force centers. That also takes away the computers people need for a now a days search to land a job. If you don’t have access to a computer , or you don’t have the internet because you are unemployed, you really are high and dry without. So to be proud to say that it is good to shut down Minnesota is really a slap in the face to those who need such help. It is not waste. In fact, much of what I heard on these posts from those who want Minnesota shut down who say this and taht is waste is really a selfish cold hearted view they have. Minnesota needs to start working again.

      • See BS

        Democrats are getting nervous, because no one really notices the government is shut down.

        Maybe we should keep the government shut down until we have a surplus again.

        • Bruce

          Republicans are willing to deal because businesses are either operating illegally or closed down because of licensing issues. Luckily Dayton has stepped up and started the process of ending this shutdown.

          • leroy

            Dayton did not step up. How can someone possibly think that?
            Dayton is the reason the government was shut down.
            He could have worked to sign the bill he is signing now.
            He could have signed a temporary spending bill to keep the government running.
            He could have stayed in St Paul instead of travelling abroad on a campaign rally.
            Seriously, Dayton is the problem, not the solution.

            • WE

              @leroy And your Moron.

            • GOPBS

              leroy, you have no clue.
              The GOP teabaggers could have submitted a legitimate balanced budget months ago without all of the social issues.
              What did the GOP do to end this shutdown – absolutely nothing?
              The GOP never countered Dayton with a legitimate offer.
              Dayton was the difference in ending this shutdown.
              Thank You Mark Dayton for restoring sanity to this political process!

        • soup

          Actually you are wrong. 80% of the state government funding was continued during the shutdown. Pull the plug on DOT fixing buckling roads in the metro, metro transit, colleges and universities, state patrol, conservation officers, etc….Maybe you would be more apt to notice.

          If government is going to shut down to show people how much it does shut it all down. Unfortunately this shutdown was just to make a political point…..

        • GOPBS

          Considering that the entire payroll of all the state employees is about 1.5 billion per year and about half of that actually comes from the general fund, we would need to be shut down for over seven years to have a surplus again. But then again, we would have no state parks, no license renewals, no lottery. Salaries from state employees are not the problem!

      • Tea Smith

        “No stupid”? Is that ANY way to talk to the person who is PAYING your wages?

        P SMITH…it’s pretty obvious you WORK for the Govt (THANK YOU GOVENOR MARK DAYTON on getting us back to work!)

        It’s funny that you have plenty to say when it’s not your money that is being wasted!

        Now don’t get me wrong…I am HAPPY the Govt is getting back to work…but I am much happier this shut down happened!

        #1- It has given Govt workers a taste of reality
        #2- It has shown Dayton is more concerned about HIS agenda over what’s best for the HARD WORKIONG people of MN
        #3- It has REALLY shown that the Judicial department in MN is CLUELESS and truly a puppet of the DFL’ers! You MN Judges are truly clueless and NEED to be replaced!
        #4- It SHOULD spur changes like Govt payroll reform, Welfare reform, and Indian/State Owned/Privately Owned Casino/Racino options.

        Now all we need are some QUALITY politicians to get in there and make things happen! The next few days will show us what you are made of! REMEMBER this when it’s election time!!!

        • The Architect

          Dumbest comment of the day award.


          • Tear it down

            And why is that?

            OH! That’s right…you must be a DFL’er… make comments you don’t back!

            • The Architect

              Wrong again. Seems to be a pattern for you, eh?

              • still waiting...

                GREAT come back…again….still waiting for your explanation for your “Dumbest comment of the day award.” comment…..

                I forget…that people like you are JUST fine with “because” as a reason…..

            • The Architect

              What does this comment even MEAN??

              “#1- It has given Govt workers a taste of reality”

              Oh has it? It made them realize they’re F**ked? What a noble lesson indeed. Well played.

              • Yes..Noble indeed

                Really? So you are under the idea that Government workers are immune to layoffs? Or having their job eliminated? Or having their pay adjusted?

                Maybe it will make them respect their job a little more and realize pay reform has to happen to keep the doors open!

                Do you really need to ask what that means? It’s been an ongoing issue since the doors shut?

                BUT, now I understand…you MUST be a Govt worker? Is that it? Your language choice has really shown us your true colors.

                • The Architect

                  I don’t know any custodians.

                  The State worker to which I refer has been in the Motor Vehicles division for almost 20 years. So is $19/hr still too much after that long?

                • The Architect

                  I make too much money to work for the government. They can’t afford me.

                  Pay reform? A friend of mine works for the State and makes about $19/hour. Wow, that’s really excessive isn’t it…

                • Nark-a-tech

                  1st off I know your lying….I’m sure you DON’T have ANY friends….

                  But yup…..$19/hr for an ENTRY LEVEL custodian IS too high!!!!!

                  Again….you make a comment like this and back it with NOTHING!

        • P SMITH

          he dosen’t pay my wages and yes he is wrong and he is an idiot because NOT EVERYONE AGREES WITH HIS MORONIC STATEMENT! All state employees also pay TAXES not only the non state workers and we haven’t seen any leadership by the republicans and the tea party so YES THANK YOU GOV. DAYTON

          • Tax payer

            So you are a govt worker correct? And if he is a tax payer….how does he NOT pay your wages….That is really a POOR comment!

            Don’t get me wrong P SMITH…I am HAPPY you and a lot of the govt workers will be returning to work……I just think that ALL of them are not needed!

            • P SMITH

              maybe I should have said We ALL pay taxes therefore I pay my wages and I haven’t seen a raise in 3 years and in the Department of Public Safety we are very short on workers the state patrol is short almost 60 troopers to All the state roads in Minnesota . also we collect a lot more revenue than most departments for the state and we provide one of the most important service to the people of Minnesota !

              • Tax payer 2

                “maybe I should have said We ALL pay taxes therefore I pay my wages”

                Therefore we need more state employees so they can pay their own wages!

                LMAO at that stupidity!

                • Money Tree

                  LOL….I was waiting for someone to say something……


                  Yup…people of MN….I hope he was joking….but if not…this is the logic we are dealing with…..

                  I know….maybe MN should print it’s OWN money….then we can print as much as we want and never be poor!!!! LOL…..

        • Dr. Freud

          Mental illness is nothing to laugh about. Take your meds Tea Smith.

          • Dr tealgood

            Sorry….I have not been able to take them as the govt has been shut down! I’m lost without them….I cannot live without my Nanny state to babysit me….change my diaper…….and crack Dr’s to make their 2-bit diagnosis on me….

            Can you spare me a few or YOUR pills?

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        He could have signed the budget bill in teh first place and this would never have happened

        • The Architect

          The people of MN didn’t want social engineering pork added to the budget, so no, he couldn’t have signed that sham of a budget.

          At least learn what you’re talking about. You look so stupid when you don’t.

          • facts.....not required to back up

            “The people of MN didn’t want social engineering pork added to the budget”

            How can YOU make a comment like “At least learn what you’re talking about. You look so stupid when you don’t.” and leave a comment like this?

            What pork other than you are you speaking of? And what “People of MN”. Are you a spokesperson for us?

            • The Architect

              “What pork other than you are you speaking of?”

              Considering that you aren’t even aware of it, shouldn’t you probably stop talking as if you have a clue about that which you speak, until you HAVE

              • Brick layer

                OH….. I used to play this game as a kid! (proves your intelligence level….) when you didn’t know the ANSWER….you just made it sound like you did until someone told it to you the answer!!!

                At least shrugged had the GUTS to bring up his/her point! And to that I THANK them! But YOU ? Nope…more seven year old games and grammar police for you!!!

                Your arguments are as weak as your designs! Just give up and maybe move to IL…..maybe you can help build sub-standard buildings there!

                • The Architect

                  I’m not that kind of Architect…

            • what!?!

              Try reading before posting.. If you READ the budget that was proposed you will see it was chuck full of garbage from conservative hence why it was not signed.. sorry

              • All I'm asking for are facts

                My point….Please tell us what “Junk” or “Pork” you are speaking of? It’s your opinion you call it “pork” or “junk”! But maybe some other people don’t think it’s worthless…

                So…my point….before you make a stattment that it was “Pork” or “junk” please tell us what/why! That’s all….

                Just back your statements……it that so tough to figure out?

                • shrugged

                  The facts you seek are: Stem cell reasearch, abortion, voter I.D and the loss of 4500 jobs. Like they said…educate yourself, no one’s here to be your cliff’s notes–just to correct foolish behavior and posting. Oh, and the majority of humans here don’t like this junk and pork added so don’t bother coming back with some religious right wing-nut ideas that you would have liked all that “junk”.

                • shrugged

                  Nah, you’re right-my bad. I think the heat is gettin’ to me. I apoligize for being rude. Repubs wanted to cease stem cell research. They repubs are obviously anti-abortion but..whatever, I can (somewhat) see why they didn’t want MNcare to fund them. The voter I.D. think..again–could favor the repubs since they think a certain demographic votes Dem. Again, my bad.

                • thanks...

                  Thank you shrugged…..I agree with you that some of it WAS “pork”…..but I couldn’t agree with you until I knew what you meant….

                  No foul……

                  I agree…it is too hot! Time to enjoy a cold beer!

              • The Architect

                Agreed. And it was beyond obvious. Don’t tell the goose steppers though. They never bothered to read it in the first place.

                • Truth comes out

                  There you go! That’s what I was asking for…..

                  I personally DON’T think Stem Cell Research is bad…..I AM PRO CHOICE…and voter ID is a GREAT idea!!!

                  So…is it a matter of “educating” myself, or subscribing to YOUR point of view?

                  So you pompous arrogant fools……I agree you are 100% entitled to your OPINION, but your OPINION is NOT law and is NOT what other people think as PORK or JUNK.

                  Again…your true colors emerge! If someone does NOT agree with your points of view…they are fools and not as intelligent as you…..a true indication you are ignorant….

                  Please continue to make comments like this…..proof to your closed mined ways and outdated values.

      • Cut the Waste

        What do you mean thank you Governor. Who closed the government? Dayton. Plain and simple. Only the Governor can shut down and reopen the State government. This whole shut down was totally on him and nobody else.

        • Irritated at the GOP

          Actually, T Paw thought that and it took a year for the Judicial Branch to say he needed to work with the Legislative Branch… oh, and the Legislature needs to work with the Governor. This is not a dictatorship, as the GOP seems to believe.

          • Just as Irritated at the DFL

            One could say the same thing about the DFL.

    • th

      If there weren’t government workers where would MN and the country be. In big trouble.

      You want to privatize all those jobs. Good luck then you would see how the private sector would raise the prices on everything more than they have already. How would you like to pay a toll everytime you drove somewhere. Careful what you wish for.

      • waste

        Then lets all go work for the government. Would that work? I don’t think so.
        There is a balance, at this time, it is heavily weighted to to many workers.

        • Stien

          Waste.. if they did privatize those jobs who do you think would go seek them? Private sector positions by and large pay more than State jobs. Yes, I’m sure you’ll find an exception or two.

          You act like if the jobs leave the state workers they take their ball and go home. Really?

          • waste

            Stein, the jobs do not need to be privatized if the job should be cut.
            We had a ramp up of government employees do to the housing bubble. Now that it is over, those employees need to go. The private sector did it.

      • ht

        Toll roads would probably be cheaper than the taxes we pay now (and the roads would probably be much better maintained)

    • Sam

      Ah, you must not have wanted to go camping the past couple of weeks, or been on a road caught in the middle of a construction project, or had your business rely on a state license, or been in need of a rest stop, or been in the process of adopting a child through state channels, etc….
      Yep I could see that, if you haven’t left your house for the past nineteen days, you wouldn’t have been affected by the shutdown.

      • Keep it going!

        Nope, been out every day and none of your issues effected me in the least. Except for the MNpass lanes being shut down – its not fun to drive with the common people.

        Truth is that most of the “services” that the state government provides are totally unnecessary (permits, licenses, etc). The government permission slips and the jobs that are required to process the worthless paperwork can be gone for good and nobody but you would notice.

        • Small Government Works

          I agree, most of those 22,000 jobs are either redundant, un-necessary or just plain “feather bedding”. Has anyone noticed traffic hasn’t been all that bad either? Sure, Miller Coors has had issues, the state parks were closed, but that’s one area that could easily be privatized and probably profitable as a private entity. Closing “rest areas” was a highly visible political ploy by Gov Dayton to pressure the legislature, my bet, it costs more to close them than leave them open. Running rest areas is another candidate for privatization. Bottom line, reduce the size of state government, lower taxes and let’s get back to a growing economy.

          • Stien

            And small business is getting killed, private sector employees are being laid off, and we are collecting less taxes to pay for what he already have.

            I can’t beleive people are really this dumb. It’s had a huge impact on private sector as well.

        • Common sense

          Please keep in mind that it was only 2 weeks, before rushing ot judgement. Besides everyone should have a job to purchase things, otherwise you’d see the economy in a real mess. Who do oyu think buys all the Best Buy and Home Depot items that keep the economy going.

      • dan

        Yah, and if they dont hurry up I will have to drive to Wisconsin to get my Miller products.
        Road construction delays? There is more road construction when the state is open
        Camping? There are plenty of Federal and Private Campgrounds
        Licensing? No need, just a money grab for the govt
        Adoption? I am sure there are so many peolpe just hanging in limbo right now for adoptions.

        Give me a break State Worker!

        • Dave Taxpayer

          Dan, How about you wait another few weeks… then try to renew your tabs just to find out the local DMV office never received a new shipment…or wait a few more months and see how many bridges fall down as there’s no one to inspect them…or how many of your favorite restaurants suddenly start making people sick because they didn’t keep their dishwasher clean enough and no one inspected them…
          As for people bashing state workers, the website to apply for a state job is open to the public??? If there such great jobs, why don’t you apply for them?

          • Cindy

            Vehicle tabs are completely a state-made problem, cars will work fine whether an expensive sticker is there or not.

            One bridge fell down and if I remember correctly it was determined to be engineered incorrectly from the start, a design that passed through government inspections.

            Restaurants that make people sick close down to lack of business rather quickly. They self-regulate cleaning those dishwashers to keep customers not just to satisfy a government worker.

            And as for applying for a State job, thankfully there are enough people that like the freedom of making it on our own and don’t want to become part of the growing problem that is called the government.

            Anything else?

            • Stien

              Yeah Cindy!

              Enjoy your cave! I see you already do!

            • P SMITH

              maybe you should give up everything that is impacted by the government like use of roads ,law enforcement, public libraries, public buildings all sevices that help everyone i here China is a nice place to find a job when you have NO skills

          • dan

            Oh yeah, I am going to be clammering down to the local DMV begging for them to open so I can get my car tabs. Never mind we are $5 Billion Dollars short on the budget, I need my tabs!
            Typical Liberal response, Dave

      • Sarah Gommels Finley

        Awesome response! I have been affected by all of the things you have listed, including the process to adopt a son thru the state of MN. This is affecting even daycare providers who need funding from the state for their food program and home health nurses who need to keep their licenses up to date so the elderly/sick don’t have to leave their own homes.

        Thank you for saying what you did – it’s EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling!!!!

    • Kane

      @ keep. I agree with you!!

    • liz

      Time for term limits for representatives.

    • Dawn

      I would like to remind everone that gover workers (city, county, state, federal) all pay taxes. They pay social security, income tax, they pay towards their pension just like those in the private sector. They pay for insurance and sometimes even pay more for health insurance as a public employee as opposed to a private company, (I know cause I’ve been a govt employee at more then 1 level and worked for a private company). Federal employees actually lose some rights when they agree to work for the govt.

    • Mike

      Hey Republicans, enjoy your $376 million increase in property taxes on behalf of the legislature who just sponsored a bill that under funds local government over the next two years. I am sure the upper 2% income earners will be mailing out their thank you cards this morning.

  • B

    They are probably talking because MillerCoors can no longer legally sell beer in the state. This should be fun. Let’s see what they come up with.

  • Common Man

    Minnesota Public Union employee already are making plans to strike in the next few years. What a bunch of worthless parisites. Maybe one in ten actually do something.

    • chcarlson

      On what do you base this statement? Or any of your unfounded drivel for that matter.

    • P SMITH

      common man where are you comming up with these LIES our Union has NOT mentioned anything like that ! and maybe ALL you guys who say we are not needed please ask everyone who is in need of a Minnesota drivers license ! I’ll bet they have a different opinion !

  • freddie freeman

    As much as I do not like the governor or democrats, I applaud him for getting the ball rolling and ending this unnecessary shutdown.

    • Speaknup

      Before you applaud too vigorously, remember two things… Dayton was the one who started the whole thing by refusing to sign the original balanced budget that was presented to him; and secondly, the governor is the only one who can call a special session. The Republicans have been asking him to call a session for the last few weeks. He’s not the hero in this thing by any stretch.

      • Irritated at the GOP

        If you look at any independent political observer’s opinion as to who was not compromising in a bipartisan budget, they would all say the Republicans. Before you applaud too vigorously for yourself, understand that only the Tea Party and partial republicans share your opinion.

      • The Architect

        You didn’t read the original “balanced budget” that included the social and religious engineering pork projects.

        Shouldn’t you stop talking and pretending you know what you’re talking about until you’ve at least READ it? Just a thought. Not that you mind sounding dumb, obviously. It was just a suggestion.

  • Stars and stripes forever

    To all of the public employees who have been forced off their jobs for the last 3 week I want to be the first to apologized for the slanderous things that were said to you. Public employees are excellent at the jobs they do and in no way deserve the wrath that has been portrayed by the opinion writers these last 3 weeks. We salute you for being dedicated workers. You are there when families fall apart. You are there when fires rage out of control You are also there when our children become unconscious and need to be revived. You are there to help new immigrants successfully adjust to society. Despite going decades of wage freezes you still find a way to go in and perform the important work of being a public servant. And to all the mean spirited opinion writers when your own lives fall apart and you need the services of these faithful servants they will be there for you as well. This is a very great day for all public workers. May we never experience the hardship of a government shutdown ever again.

    • Give me a break

      Yes when there is a permit or stamp required, a state worker is there to take 3 days to issue it.

      Wherever there is a roadside bathroom to be cleaned, a tax to be collected, a ticket to be written, we can all count on the great government worker.

      We should all be willing to double our taxes so that these “super workers” you mention can keep on blessing us with their greatness, unless they are on break, striking or retired at 50.

      • Chris

        For sure… the thing is, they have lost sight of the objectives of their jobs…

        More important to shuffle paper than keep businesses in permits and fishing licenses available…

        Doesn’t anyone else see this as being upside down?

        Gov is bloated and the tail is wagging the dog again!

      • Stars and stripes forever

        Wrong country ‘give me a break’. I think you are referring to Greece. You are what I refer to as a mean spirited opinion writer. No I am not a state worker, but a owner of a successful Minnesota company.

        • Give me a break

          You must own the printing company that makes all those “tax the rich” signs that ASFCME goons hold up on the capitol steps

          • P SMITH

            must be a republican because your good at name calling !

            • It's my opinion

              I normally don’t comment on these things but couldn’t resist this one… How is the mud you’re slinging (or anyone else’s for that matter) any better than “Give me a break”‘s? The only thing you’ve shown by making comments like the one above is how to be part of the problem. Americans, democratic AND republican alike, are damned sick and tired of the immaturity and pettiness that runs rampant. You want respect… then show you are worthy to earn it!

    • louis

      From the mouth of a union representative, good speech Stars.
      Are you wearing a $2000 suit like you cohort in Wisconsin

    • P SMITH

      thank you from All the state employees !

    • frustrated

      thank you for the support & compassion. it makes me ill to read these messages blaming the state workers. my husband has a critical state job yet was still laid off…and now our family of 5 is out more than $2500. We live paycheck to paycheck the way it is…so do any of you unempathic smart a$$es want to get off your high horses & explain how we make ends meet??? this mess can be blamed solely on our MN government, not on the state workers.

      • Upset

        How can you complain with the money you loose with that much money you should have a huge stockpile that will tie you over for several months.
        There are too many State workers relying on the taxpayers for their big pay checks. Your husband might have an important job. But their are too many that collect that big paycheck and do not do enough work to really earn it.

        • The Architect

          You call that a big paycheck? $2500 over the course of the last 3 weeks?

          Get a clue, you ignorant fool. I make that much in just over 40 hours.

          • the caveman

            It ain’t easy being a Ho!

        • stars and stripes forever

          You are over generalizing MR. Upset. There is about as much waste in the private sector as the public. People in the public sector do very important jobs that get very little respect from the guys who listen to Political Trash Talk Radio. Maybe if you turned your radio and TV off and went down and did some volunteer work you wil find that what publc employees do is extremely important.

  • David Wagner

    Did anyone here if the Vikings will be getting to be talked about ???

    • Jeffrey Hiltner



      Let them move

    • Skol

      no vikings stadium–no talks in this session and no second session being called. read it on mpr


    If everyone is so set that working for the state is such an incredible job, the benefits are so fabulous and the pension is so great, why haven’t you applied for any state positions…

    • Charlie

      We have and they are hard to get… lots of people in line for these gravy positions… but then we would have to vote Dem to keep our own paychecks coming… so I will pass for now anyway.

      • Stien

        We have and are waiting!

        You just have to be qualified. And if you are not, and claim they are easy and for the lazy…..well that speaks a lot about yourself Charlie!

  • Undercover

    Other than hearing about it on the news, I would NEVER have known it was shutdown. No issues on the roads, I used them when I drove to Wisconsin the last couple of weekends. Plenty of beer there. ABSOLUTLEY no issues with Minnesota being closed down, I wish it would continue.

  • just sayin

    Good job Republicans! Give it to Dayton like he deserves it!

  • Kman

    Wait till we see what the shut Down cost us Because we can’t Get Elected Officals to sit Down and work things out.and If any one thinks Handing a Billionair Vikings Owner 600 Million Dollars we Don’t have is a good Idea is not thinking Clearly.

    • The Architect

      Zygi Wilf stands to receive, from the proposed stadium plan, exactly ZERO DOLLARS you ignorant putz.

    • Skol

      600 million? What are you–minnie me? Did you get shagged today? Dude, it’s 131 million. I’m not standing in line for a VBT card (get it?–EBT card) but 131 mill for those road projects would be something I’d like as a MN resident–I just got my season tix in the mail yesterday. I know I’m not gonna get a vikes stadium with the help of Dayton–too many starving people and babysitter bills for MN’s poor— but it would have been nice for people like me that pay much and use little from this state.

  • upnorthchick

    I bought a motorcycle last month and have not been able to ride it yet because the shutdown stopped all DMV testing.. I can’t take the driving safety class without a permit either. Not a major issue to some, but it is to me. :(

    • Ride Free

      The only thing stopping you from riding is you.

      The government permission slip is only a barrier in your mind – the bike won’t know the difference

      • P SMITH

        ride free you deserve a one way ticket to the crowbar hotel ! upnorthckick well get you squared away in a day or two and then your going to have fun riding just watch out for jerks like ride free he’ll probably the idiot that cuts you off on the road because he drives with his head up his a$$

    • Commonsense

      The State has only been shut down for 2 weeks, so if you purchased it last month than why didn’t you take care of the permit right away – you do realize you dont’ need to own a motorcycle to take the permit or to attend class.

      • upnorthchick

        Buying the bike wasn’t really a planned thing otherwise I would have gotten the permit ahead of time.. I bought it on June 28 and the state DMV website was already shut down in preparation for the shut down, so I couldn’t even download the motorcycle rules book to study for the test. The local DMV doesn’t even carry the book in hard copy either – everything is online, plus they only do testing where I live on Mondays and Tuesdays, so by the next week which was early July, they were already closed. Being a novice, I don’t want to be the idiot on the road that doesn’t know what they’re doing and cause an accident, so I am waiting (patiently) for this shut down to end so I can get my permit and take the class before hitting the open road…

  • sporty007

    I’m hoping it’s over soon only because I’m sick of hearing about it – The world did not end like many were predicting – we were inconvenienced – big deal – maybe if we were inconvenienced alot more than the state could actually live within there means.

    • Joe

      Because of the spirited debate by both sides we now know what the issues are that are interfering with spending reduction. I believe we are on the right track to help reduce spending in years to come. Your duty is to go beyond your monetary contributions would be to actually volunteer at a homeless shelter or other non profit organization and listen to the stories of those in disparate need.

      • P SMITH

        joe we cannot just kick the can down the road and let someone else worry about it . that is what the republicans are doing by borrowing from the school funds

        • Joe

          I suggested to Rep Peggy Scott that we form a consortium of present and past legislators, business leaders and past and present public employees where the mission will be to do some long range planning on how to reduce spending, but still have a efficient government. If you like this idea please contact your legislator.

  • fedup

    The shutdown didn’t affect me until I needed to pull an electrical permit on my house. This shutdown will affect more than just state workers when construction sites grind to a stop. I am lucky, I can wait for the house. But what about the commercial projects? I know of people who have poured everything they have into starting a business and now they can’t get inspections or permits. I agree that they can be useless at times but can you imagine what people would do with electrical, pluming, etc if there were no codes or regulation? Lets get this thing done! And then lets get to work on solving the broken system so the people of Minnesota don’t have to worry about the next budget!

  • leroy

    Three weeks the government was shut down.
    Where are all the starving old people?
    Where are all the old people who were kicked out of their homes?
    Where are all the dead children that the Dems were talking about?

    Seems we survived pretty well with limited government.

    • Stars and stripes forever

      You didn’t notice because you didn’t care. Volunteer at a homeless shelter and you will see the needs.

      • leroy

        OK Stars,
        Then enlighten us? If there were any dying, starving people, the liberal media would have been all over it. I did not see any stories. If I missed them, let me know.

        • Stien

          They are running short on food at food shelves because of it. KARE11 news told me so Leroy! You and Cindy must be in the same cave!

          • Upset

            Maybe the people going to the food shelves need to spend their money more carefully and buy food in place of booze, drugs and cigarettes.
            Only about 1 out of every 10 going their really need to be their.

            • The Architect

              You can’t even spell, and you’re going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do?

              That’s a laugher…

              • The King has spoken

                PEOPLE OF WCCO, MN, and the WORLD…..

                “the Architect” has spoken……unless you have perfect grammar and punctuation, your points are worthless…..People who miss-spell “there” over “their” or “to” over “too” or even the dreaded “alot” over “A LOT” shall NOT be heard!
                Give it a break there chief…..people (like your parents) make mistakes! Regardless of the side they represent…their (or should I say “there”) points may still be taken into consideration….
                Now go back to designing wonderful things like warehouses and outhouses……

              • Bella


                You seem to be awfully worked up today and spewing some hateful words like ignorant fools, idiots, stupid ect. It really gets old when the only point you have it to insult someone.
                I guess this all comes from a guy who has a 2 year degree in Drafting and thinks he’s a licensed Architect. I guess we just have to consider the source of these comments.
                Peace be with you!

                • The Architect

                  I haven’t taken a drafting class since 8th or 9th grade. I’m not that kind of architect.

                  I’m not worked up. It’s just how I speak to people I think don’t understand how to break down a situation and analyze it critically. Most of you qualify.

            • David J.

              WTH is that sort of comment? I use a food shelf to help feed my wife and kids. I don’t drink and do drugs or smoke. I am unemployed. I pay taxes as well. I don’t take any goverment help. People like you need to find hard times.

        • Stars and stripes forever

          The stories are out there if you will only look. The field is ripe with the poor, but the workers are few. When you drive alone in your BMW, Mercedes, in air condition comfort back home to your like kind in the home you brought to avoid the problems of the poor of course you will notice. When you move to Chanhassen which requires triple size lots which are designed to keep lower income housing out of course you will think everyone should live like you. When you inherit a half a million form aunt lucy of course you will never become poor. Serving the poor and downtrodden is a calling.that public employees take seriously. They are very good at their jobs and have amazing adaptability as rules and policies change. Want to see the poor? Then spend one day a week at a homeless shelter and truly listen to their stories. You might be lead to take some of Aunt Lucy’s inheritance and help sponsor a homeless family.

  • hmm

    Hope the vote fails.

    • Stars and stripes forever

      Hmmmm another mean spirited opinion writer. Don’t you have a job to do??

  • jon

    Threaten the booze and bing, bang, boom, you got a deal.

  • yeppers

    That $6-8 million per week in unemployment benefits the states going to start handing out to state workers got them moving on a deal didn’t it? LOL.

  • Stars and stripes forever

    Not a wise use of resources. A very expensive lesson that will probably cost some these legislators their jobs.

  • waste

    Now that a deal is close, let’s work on unemployment.
    Round up all the illegals, find out where they were working, get those on unemployment off and send them to work those jobs.

    • Diane

      I was watching the history channel the other night and they were speaking of illegals and the jobs they did. Some places that eliminated these people said their biggest problem was getting people to work for them. And yes, it was minimum wage, that was what they could afford to pay. But without the illegals no one wanted these positions. Now, I totally agree that people who work in the US should be US citizens and pay taxes like everyone else, but it really surprised me that there is job opportunity out there that “we the people” feel the jobs is too beneath us to do. Kind of made me think. Have we created the demand?

      • larry

        I was raised in a small town in southern Minnesota. We had a local vegetable processing plant. The local kids would fight to get a job there.

        Something happened around 1988 where the local people stopped working at the plant. Thank goodness for migrant workers, or the plant would have shut down.
        What happened around 1988? Where did the local kids go? How did they make their money?
        I for one was raised with a good work ethic, thanks mom and dad. I worked 20 – 30 days straight at that plant to save money up for college.
        What is wrong with people now? Why do they think these jobs are below them?
        People receiving benefits better change their minds; the economy is not going to recover any time soon.

        • Proud American

          Let’s see what happened back then. Wasn’t that about the time that free trade agreements were starting to be enacted and all the illegals were flocking over the borders to take all our factory jobs away from the kids who wanted to work them. The migrant workers as you call them (I call them illegals) took the jobs away and everyone just stood around and watched it happen and now complain that there are no jobs out there. tsk, tsk, tsk

          • Gus

            Actually, we could not get enough local people to work the jobs. That is why the illegals started.
            Stop paying so much welfare, there are jobs.

        • Diane

          Thanks Larry, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees this. My son manages a local fast food and he has so much trouble finding even high school kids to work. there are so many rules about their hours and stuff. I understand that school has to come first but I worked when I was 16 and did whatever the job needed me to do. Some rules were in place, but not so many that it curtailed my ability to work or the employers ability to hire me. And if I had to work more than a certain amount of hours, my enployer wasn’t penalized with a fine as it happens now. Yes, I thank my parents also for a great work ethic that I use still. but I see people now that don’t have the same ethic and I think that if you (State) give give give, we happily will take take take. It is a lot ealier to take. And it conditions us. Pretty soon we don’t know how to survive without it. We have become so dependent that we can’t do for ourselves anymore. I think that is some of the issues. I know there are exceptions and there are people out there that truly need help, but there are a greater percent who have become dependent. I don’t believe it is possible to fix that anymore. I think it has gone too far. I hate to sound negative but even reading these blogs I hear so much anger springing from the screen. They are angry at the Republicans, the Dems, the rich, the State workers, the unions, it really doesn’t matter who you are, someone is mad at you. Is this something you think can be fixed?

      • Hog wild

        That is such hog wash. There is plenty of people who would take a job doing anything if there was anything out there. High School students who can’t find jobs because they are all taken by illegals. What a crock.

        • Dave

          Who wants to clean a hotel room, I know who…illegals.

          • Stars and stripes forever

            DAve, how do you know they are illegals??? Have you asked them? Or are you overgeneralizing once again and simply think that anyone who isn’t white must be illegal? That any one who looks remotely Hispanic is an illegal? How dare you make a racist statement Dave. Minnesota is the number one state for international adoptions because we are a state with compassion. We need people of all nationalities to fulfill the needs of the labor market. Any 16 year old kid can work if they choose to work. The jobs are out there if they choose to work hard. A right minded young person can look at a job where he is working along side a Hispanic person as an opportunity to practice and perfect his Spanish speaking skills and use that as a selling point to obtain a better job in international business down the road So , Dave what do you do for a living? Probably not much but complain.

      • Stars and stripes forever

        Yes, Migrant workers are some of he hardest working people you will ever know. the farmers in NW minnesota rely on these people to pick the sugar beets. Without them the beets would not be picked.

  • Beefeater

    Thank God we have a governor like Dayton. Let’s all buy him a drink.

  • Tea Weed

    OK…I am ALL for paying SOME taxes…

    We NEED things like a Police Force…a Fire Department….

    But an “Assistant Week Inspector”?

    TRUE story!!!!!!

    I have a friend who owned a business in West St Paul MN. They were issues a citation by “THE ASSISTANT WEED INSPECTOR” in West St Paul for having about 4 dandelions growing up by some stairs in the front of their business!!

    An “Assistant Weed Inspector”! Now only does the city of West St Paul have a “Weed Inspector”….but an “Assistant Weed Inspector” as well!!!

    And DON’T think this is JUST a CITY issue!!!! It’s a Govt issue!

    This friend is what it has come to… taxes paying for “Assistant Weed Inspectors”!


    • oops

      OOPs…the way I wrote that…I think I was a little too weedy….

      Just because I know there are “grammar police” on the web site…I realize I miss-spelled “issued” (showing issues)

      • another oops

        lol…and i placed “week” inspector too! oops! (should be weed)

    • Irritated at the GOP

      Speaking of easy jobs to cut, doesn’t Walmart hire a bunch to give away happy face stickers! You can find them everywhere, public and private sector. Some handicapped workers and senior citizens and homeless might just thank you for the minimum wage opportunity.

  • kevin

    And here I thought Cheech and Chone were the only weed and assistant weed inspectors. And they did if for little or nothing without benifits.


      kevin it’s cheech and chong not chone weedhead

  • MKIA

    Current events tells me that the government has their sticky little fingers in way to much of our business.
    I am willing to do without a government.

    • Stien

      Somalia, here you come! Take a boat!!!!

      • MKIA

        That’s it?

  • joe joe

    Finally over,now Amy can get to the OLD COUNTRY BUFFET and load up

    • Stars and stripes forever

      Joe Joe, stop being critical of Amy. At least she had the guts to run for the legislature knowing that her opinions may not be popular at times. I give her credit for being part of the legislative process and bringing to the limelight the need to reduce spending. I am sure this shutdown hasn’t helped any of these representatives exercise programs with the demands on their lives. I haven’t agreed with everything she has said, but I do admire her for bringing the problems to the surface. Maybe Joe Joe you should run for office and see what it is really like.

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