ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota’s 20-day shutdown last summer did not cause the financial crisis that some had predicted.

That’s accoding to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget.

Looking at it strictly on financial terms:

Minnesota essentially broke even on the 20-day shutdown, which closed state parks, stopped road construction projects and suspended many state services.

“Where there was harm, there was significant harm,” said James Showalter, commissioner of MMB.

State government essentially broke even, but Showalter said it put the state at significant risk.

“I think the Governor and legislators understood it was dangerous from the very beginning,” he said.

The final shutdown tally shows Minnesota lost $60 million from the shutdown, but that’s offset by $65 million saved from unpaid salaries of 19,000 laid off workers.

One of them, snowplow driver Michael Lindholt, is still upset about it.

“I’m pissed, I’m not gonna lie. I’m gonna say it blunt,” said Linholt, a MNDOT snowplow driver and maintenance man who says he still hasn’t recovered. “Because they didn’t want to tax the richest 2 percent of Minnesotans to save money. They’re going to lay 19,000 workers off. We’re the ones who got hurt. I’m one of the 19,000.”

The economic impact of a shutdown was blunted by a court order keeping much of it open.

But Republican leaders say Gov. Mark Dayton could have prevented it, but tried to pressure Republicans into a tax hike to balance the budget.

“This was done intentionally,” said GOP State Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, “and done in a way to try to create as much disruption as possible.”

Gov. Dayton, a Democrat, strongly disagreed.

In a written statement, Dayton said: “I am grateful that the Report concludes there was no net cost to Minnesota taxpayers. Unfortunately, it also shows that the worst financial hardship fell upon state employees, who were involuntarily laid off.

“Minnesotans know that it was the Republican legislators’ refusal to consider a reasonable and balanced solution, which caused the shutdown.”

The report did not measure the shutdown ripple effect on Minnesota’s economy, it’s credit and credibility. But it said there will be long-term consequences.

“We don’t have direct budget costs right now, but there are things that we are going to be dealing with for years to come,” said Showalter.

Comments (64)
  1. Ralph says:

    Since governor Dayton caused the shutdown, at the request of the unions, the cost should be removed from his trust fund.

    1. Todd says:

      I truly wish that CCO would use facebook or some other way of identifying the writer of these posts. Like the wizard in the wizard of oz movie these people are simply wimps behind their masks. When they know they will never be identified they can say all the mean stuff they want and get away with it. Facebook will bring civility back to these discussions.

  2. Citizen says:

    Since the Republican-led legislature caused the shutdown, the cost should be removed from the legislative salaries.

    1. Ralph says:

      The Republican-led legislature passed a balanced budget.

      Mark Dayton refused to sign it.

      1. Betty says:

        Dont let facts stand in the way for Citizen!

        1. just me says:

          any way you spin it the Gov is a Toad and will not win again
          the liberals are destroying Minnesota and America it is really sad
          the Children of this country have no chance with the Lefties in control

        2. Frankie says:

          @ Ralph and Betty
          Don’t let facts stand in the way of your argument. The GOP budget proposal included getting a waiver that has never been granted and predicted more revenue the state omb predicted.
          As Goebbles states, tell a big lie, the GOP faithful keep reciting it.

      2. Real Talk says:

        Dayton proposed a balanced budget but it wouldnt pass the GOP controlled legislature.

        See it works both ways. Both parties are to blame….any other conclusions drawn are those of idiots with small minds.

        Dont let the facts stand in the way of your asinine comments.

  3. Here's hoping says:

    As long as even a single government worker suffered even a little, I think it was worth it no matter how the numbers come out. 20,000 gov workers do what 5,000 would do in the private sector. Just ask an honest government worker.

  4. not Here's hoping says:

    And so the rich have the peons fighting each other. I guess they won after all. Check out your coments. “Here’s hoping” Are you really that stupid?

    1. Here's hoping says:

      I don’t understand this. You speak of ‘the rich’ but aren’t all the people working trying to become rich? I don’t kow anybody not trying or at least hoping to become rich no matter how slow or fast. Are you then also referring to yourself as a peon or are you one of the rich? By the way what is considered rich? Wealth inherited, high income but lots of debts bringing you down to a normal level, A first year lawyer making 100k but paying over 100k for 7 years of school or are they rich the day their school is paid off. How about a small business owner working for free for 10 years then finally reaping the fruits of their tedious labor. Rich is way too broad. My hunch is rich is anybody that has something that you’d like to have redistributed to you.

      1. not Here's hoping! says:

        No, not everybody working is trying to get rich. That is you and the only greedy friends you know. Th almighty dollar rules you! That is greed what you are first saying. That is the same thing that has crippled this entire country, and now the world. What is rich? Well, maybe the people lining the pockets of the republicans, buying them off. I’d say that “discressionary income” shows a wealth beyond those just trying to make it. The greedy guard there excess at any cost, even at the expense of the poor, and the hard worker trying to get by. I hope that explains it for ya. But then again, you already knew that. You were just being self righteous, and trying to start a battle, Just like a Rush Limpballs supporter!

        1. Here's hoping says:

          Ok, maybe take a minute and get your thoughts together then re-post. What crazy, opposite land do you come from where people are working to not better themselves and their family? Your English seems to be broken and so I am presuming you are from some foreign land far away with a craddle to grave mentality. Do people work to become poorer? Again we are in capitalist America…bettering ourselves is what we do. I’m betting you are shacked up inside some little section 8 apartment somewhere typing under a bare 60 watt bulb. Wow, and I can’t emphasise this any more but you are what is wrong with America or whatever country from where you are trolling. I work to become richer as does everyone who has a job. You deserve exactly what you get in this life and it sounds as though you have received a lot of envy and little outcome for your efforts.

          1. Frankie says:

            @ Here’s hoping
            A person does not teach school, do police work, become a health care professional to get rich. You may be well paid, but never rich. People have attacked the state workers on this board. People working for a living hating on other people working for a living. your last comment is proof of that.
            It is hard to determine what you value as “rich” Working to better yourself with a middle income job is not being rich. Then again your last comment is perhaps an indication of your level of functioning.

        2. DougT says:

          Its called Ambition. Motivation, Creativity and Innovation.

          Not everyone has this …. some still believe that “Hope” and “Change” will magically make everyone happy and prosperous….

  5. Jack Norie says:

    I’m more interested in how the shutdown effected small busnesses and individual citizens in the short and long term. How many people lost income they can never replace? How many restaurants and bars are one step closer to permanent closure because of shutdown?

    1. Fact says:

      The story says the state took in $50 less in revenue. That is $50 million that remained in the private sector and not wasted by the government. Small business and people with real jobs realized a benefit according to this report.

  6. frozenrunner says:

    Phoey, I did not type fast enough. Nowhere in the report will it include the fact that real people lost income. For many that will change future spending. In an economy that needs upon the turnover of money short term savings is not a good thing. Those laid off may tend to save more in case being laid off happens again. Long term that may be a good thing, but short term, maybe not.

  7. G Dog says:

    Send the bill to the GOP and their millionaire buddies.

    1. DougT says:

      You simply spend money you do not have. Bleeding the prosperous and productive will not solve the problem – it will only make it worse

      1) Because there is not enough money out there – anywhere to pay for all this
      2) if you bleed them they will leave or stop producing and then what will you do?

      1. Horace Mann says:

        0.1% of the population earns 50% of all the capital gains in the USA. There’s not enough money out there? Really?

        1. KM says:

          Considering the top 5% pay over 50% of the income taxes,I would say the rich pay their fair share. Not only do those in the lower income brackets get all if not most of their taxes back, some even get a refund for taxes they never paid! It’s called the Earned Income Credit. And then those in the lower income brackets also get money from the government in the form of government assistance which the upper income bracket people do not use. Fair?? I think the rich already subsidize the lover income folks enough.

          1. Notberry says:

            Right on!

            My 92-yr old grandmother gets nothing but Social Security and Medicare and she pays NOTHING in income taxes!

            Enough of the free ride for her and others of her ilk!

            That’s what you are saying, right KM?

          2. Mike says:

            KM, you stats are incorrect right wing BS. You are only using federal income taxes to make your point and not considering payroll taxes, federal excise taxes and various state taxes. The bottom 20% pay over 12% of their income in taxes and the wealthiest paid less than 8%. With all taxes in the mix, the top 1% paid only 21% of the total and they earned 20% of personal income.
            The Bush tax cuts removed many people off the tax rolls and 17% of those who paid no income tax are over 65 and probably retired.

            Fair? Do you really want to live in a country where a majority of the population outside your gated community is poor? I don’t think so. It has never worked out very well in the past and I can guarantee that it won’t in your future. The wealthy have gotten substantial tax cuts during a time that our country has been fighting wars in multiple theaters on foreign shores. Raising taxes on those that make a substantial amount of money is as necessary to the future of this country as reducing the federal governments budget.

            1. Mark Too says:

              Mike – You are correct, many posts do reference the fact that close to half the income earners in the U.S. don’t pay income tax, AND that is at the federal level. What is the break down at the state level in MN? Do we have a 100% of income earners contributing to the Minnesota income tax revenue? If is not 100%, what is the percentage in Minnesota?

          3. Mark Too says:

            KM – You hit the nail on the head. There are far too many people with income that are not currently paying any income tax. Funny how easy it is to spend money when it isn’t your money that is being spent. Perhaps if everyone chipped in and paid income tax, then there wouldn’t be so many eager to spend, spend, and spend some more.

            Everyone who benefits from a government service should help pay for that service. Now that’s fair.

  8. TruBlue says:

    Not surprising that a “deal” was reached when it was – any longer and the the state loses more money than it saved in payroll.

    Of course, if the unions (yes those public workers!) had insisted that they be paid out their severance packages and not have signed a deal keeping those packages with the state, the shutdown would have lasted about 2 days instead of 20!

    The public workers saved the state hundreds of millions by agreeing not to take their severance packages!

  9. MrB says:

    We saved 5 million, I say lets have another shutdown! 🙂

  10. MrB says:

    Just think…if we had another shutdown, those “occupy protesters” would not have a place to protest! 🙂

  11. Fact says:

    What a misleading headline!

    Right there in the first paragraph it says the state saved $5 million during the much too short shutdown.

    1. Ralph says:

      Exactly right. The state SAVED 5 million dollars:

      “The 20-day shutdown in July cost the state about $60 million in lost revenue and associated expenses, but it saved the state about $65 million in salaries not paid to workers”

  12. sick of people's BS says:

    How many people loved their drives into work without all the traffic snarls that happen when you have 22 thousand extra drivers on the road. How many truck stops benefited from this shut down. I know everyone I went to on my trip to ND was plum full and they didn’t even miss the way side rests. Gas stations were loving it.

  13. Mary says:

    Well I think we found a way to balance the budget. Lay off state workers for a couple weeks in the summer.

    1. Bette says:

      SO GLAD you’re not a state worker for the Dept of Revenue in charge of overseeing collections and taxes! Obvously your intellect and math skills are atrocious!

      The state budget is in BILLIONS, not millions.

      This “savings” does nothing.

      1. What? says:

        $5 million savings in 20 days is “nothing”?

      2. Mary says:

        Hello McFly, just keep adding weeks to the lay-off until you get what you need.

        1. Frankie says:

          The shortfall for the year was 5 billion. . Cant’ make that up in a year on 1250000 a day. Why do I try to educate the wingnuts?

          1. Shut it down says:

            Well you have to start somewhere

          2. mary says:

            lot more state workers that were not layed-off that could get in the program including governor ‘run for cover’

        2. Bette says:

          OK. That is about 600 days to save $3B (which was the deficit both sides were trying to close).

          I think more than a few people – on both sides of the aisle – would have a problem with no government in place for almost 2 years.

          Also note that the article says the estimated loss figure could rise. If the shutdown went longer, the losses would have certainly been even greater.

          Don’t kid yourself – both sides of the aisle knew the maximum time a shutdown could have gone without the state losing money!

          1. DougT says:

            ummmm- I have no problem with that. In fact it would be refreshing and quite pleasant actually.

            1. Toadie says:

              So, by your logic, we should completely shut down the state for good and return the proceeds to everyone.

              That $20 per year for each of us will certainly go far towards getting half of my gas tank filled!

              Then again, we could completely disregard that nimrod logic!

          2. Bette says:

            I stand corrected – the gap was $5B, which would take 1000 days to save that amount.

  14. llp says:

    how sad you all by into the political machine garbage . don’t you realize they don’t care about you and your vote dosn’t matter. We have the best politicians thay money can by and means ALL PLOITICAL PARTYS

    1. frozenrunner says:

      The last 30 years the wealthy have gotten wealthier, the jobs for the poor have become less and now the middle class jobs are harder to obtain. Those that point out that fact are threatened or marginalized for their opinion.

    2. DougT says:

      If these are the best money can by we are all in a lot of trouble. Where is our Hopie-Change group? “Good Government!!” (oxymoron if there ever was one)

      They put him into office – and it trickles down from there………….

  15. Grandpa M says:

    Ha Ha Ha, I am 60 and do not care how much debt the country goes into, all you kids out there are going to have to deal with it. Wait a got another governmnet check here…thanks kids. Going to just blow this one cause I got more coming and you have to pay for it by having less in your future and their is NOTHING you can do about it… Yes go grow bigger government! More social welfare for me now ha ha ha…and I am really laughing!

    1. lots of free stuff in mn says:

      Grandma M, the kids are getting government checks sooner than you. Get knocked up a few times and your’e set for life.

    2. Dad, is that you? says:

      This from a fat slob who obviously only thinks for himself, and has never done anything to improve the environment around him – aka: a welch, a hypocrite, a troll. Just ask Grandma M – she has hated his guts for years, and hasn’t given him a piece for years. Now, get back to spanking your wankie, you wanker…

  16. Uneducated says:

    Maybe you all should try walking the walk before attempting to talk the talk. It’s just amazing how many of your comments are completely far fetched and off the wall. Do some research before posting it makes you look like a fool.

  17. all republicans says:

    we all suk

    1. all democrats says:

      we all suk more!…again we win that debate too!

  18. Jim S says:

    Our Great States shutdown may have been a wash for the state but it cost small businesses like mine, that are in the tourisism industry, many thousands of dolars. While in a what has been a slow couple of years, it was the last thing many small business needed. You can thank your state reps for all of the closures that will be comming this winter because if it!

  19. Chad says:

    Way to go! I’m not sure about anyone else, but I would have been fired for being so ineffective at my job. You were voted in to represent the people, not yourself! I pray that you don’t mess up the Vikings stadium like you have messed everything else up with your constant bickering at each other. If the Vikes leave because of your not being able to agree on one thing, you should all lose your jobs!

  20. Kevin says:

    Crying casturated liberals….stop bringing in a million immigrants to MN…you know….the ones sucking up all the welfare…….oh and shut down Govt unions….Govt workers work for me…not some uinon……

    1. IMA POS Kevin says:

      Crying balless Kevin. Too clueless to realize that illegals would not be here if they could not get work. Business hires these people because they will work cheap and do all the scut dirty jobs.

      1. sick of people's BS says:

        @ IAM PSO Kevin And that makes it right how????

  21. cathy w says:

    The story that ‘CCO is missing, and most of the local press, is what the shutdown cost private businesses… from contractors working on government projects that had to be stopped and restarted to seasonal businesses dependent on state parks and fishing.. State workers were at least were able to collect unemployment (which, by the way, I suspect wasn’t counted in the net cost of the shutdown). A competent news service would get an estimate of business losses and hold legislators accountable for much more than $5 million lost.

  22. bpk says:

    I love how thing re blamed on the younger generation. All people 60 and older what shape was the US in when you were younger compared to today. It has been ran into the ground. Todays generation has a lot to fix, there is no one to blame but yourselves.

  23. That was a sweet two week period - let's do it again next time! says:

    Yawwwwwwnnnnnnn… All I gotta’ say is, thanks Minnesota for giving me a nice vacation, conveniently right smack dab in the middle of Summer 🙂 Seriously, it was nice! Pay? Heck, I make so much and such great bennies that two weeks is mince-meat. Please, can we do this exactly the same next time? Seriously??!!

  24. sick of people's BS says:

    60 million lost but 65 million saved from gov. workers salaries. There is something definately wrong with this picture. 65 MILLION IN 20 DAYS. WOW. And some of the workers said they had to go to the food shelf. Maybe that will teach you to manage your money a little better in the future. 20 days and you don’t have enough saved for emergencies. 65 MILLION DOLLARS. Once again I say WOW.

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