Minnesota voters gave Gov. Dayton a solid re-election victory. But unlike the last two years of Democratic dominance, Dayton’s fresh reality is a new Republican majority in the Minnesota House. “I’m proud to say that Democrats’ total control of state government in Minnesota is over,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt, the House minority leader. Exuberant Republicans will take back the House they lost just two years ago. That’s when they battled Gov. Dayton to a budget standoff, and a 17-day government shutdown — the longest in U.S. history.
The government shutdown may be over but there are real questions about whether Congress can reach an agreement on a budget and the debt ceiling in coming months.
The government shutdown may have ended but there is already concern that another shutdown could happen in just a few months. Congress now faces deadline starting in January to achieve budget and debt ceiling deals.
Seeking an opportunity to slice through the political bitterness clouding Washington, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar did what felt natural a few weeks ago: She organized a bipartisan potluck at her apartment. All but a few of the 20 female senators came.
Operations in the Superior National Forest are getting back to normal with the end of the federal government shutdown. Forest spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach says some campgrounds had to be closed due to the shutdown, and some forest roads were closed while roadwork was suspended.
Thousands of Minnesota’s federal employees who’ve been furloughed during the government shutdown are back on the job. Offices and programs providing federal services, affected by the shutdown, reopened Thursday morning for the first time in 16 days.
Legislation to reopen the federal government and avoid a threatened national default has passed the U.S. Senate on an 81-18 vote. The legislation that passed the Senate Wednesday now goes to the U.S. House where a vote is expected later Wednesday.
As the government shutdown enters day 15 with some progress on a deal, eight bars and restaurants in St. Paul are doing what they can to help furloughed employees. And what better way than with free beer.
Two 20-foot-deep disposal pits opened in western South Dakota on Monday to help ranchers dispose of tens of thousands of livestock carcasses piling up since an early October blizzard decimated herds. Up to 4 feet of snow fell in the Black Hills area during the storm, killing at least 10,000 to 20,000 head of livestock, state officials say. The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association estimates this part of the state lost at least 5 percent of its cattle, which is mostly raised for beef. Normally, the federal government would provide financial assistance to ranchers in a crisis of this magnitude, but the farm bill expired during the government shutdown.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is rarely short on opinion, and he weighed in on the federal government shutdown with WCCO’s Nina Moini on Sunday. Ventura was at the Mall Of America, signing copies of his latest book.
Today I got an email from a furloughed federal employee from Lakeville, Minn., who, along with her co-workers, has not been able to collect unemployment because the state of Minnesota is demanding information from her employer, which she obviously can’t get because the government is shut down.
Minnesota pheasant hunters will find less land available when the season opens Saturday. Due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed 13 national wildlife refuges and eight wetland management districts in Minnesota, totaling more than 489,000 acres of land.
While the shutdown lingers across the nation, local veterans affairs offices are off-limits to the public. “Veterans obviously are wondering, ‘Where do I go?’ It’s continuous,” Tom Hanson said.
State officials have notified 105 Minnesota Department of Health workers that they might be laid off because of the federal government shutdown. The employees are in positions that are partially paid for by federal funds.