ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota may soon have an end to its government shutdown, but re-starting the machinery of the state will probably take a few days.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders fell short Sunday of their goal of being ready for a special session Monday to finalize a deal struck late last week. They issued a joint statement saying the work “continues to move in a positive direction” but wasn’t over.

Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said they didn’t expect to make any more news later in the night.

“Considerable progress has been made,” said the statement, issued Sunday night. “A special session will be called as soon as our work is completed, and all bills have been reviewed and agreed upon.”

If rank-and-file lawmakers sign off on the deal, it will end a shutdown that’s the longest in recent U.S. history.

But for residents whose lives have been disrupted, the relief won’t be immediate.

“It’s not like we can just flip a switch,” said Doug Neuville, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, which has halted renewal of driver’s licenses and vehicle tabs during the shutdown. The computer systems used to issue renewals take time to bring back online, and the services won’t be immediately available, he said.

Same goes for closed rest stops and state parks. State budget office spokesman Jonathan Pollard said those must be cleaned and thoroughly checked before people can use them again. Road construction projects idled by the shutdown are likely to require safety checks before work can resume.

Licensing hang-ups for beer distributors could take several days to unsnarl as well, as returning state workers deal with backlogs that built up during the shutdown.

“It depends on the level to which the services were down,” Pollard said. “If you have an agency that’s mostly been up and functioning, it may be easier than if you have an agency that’s been completely shut down.”

The Dayton administration will likely consider the shutdown officially over once the governor signs new budget bills into law, Pollard said.

It’s not clear yet when that might happen. The governor and Republican leaders agreed late Thursday to the framework of an agreement to end the shutdown, and they spent the weekend trying to fill in the details. Once a session starts, Republican leaders need to get the spending bills through the House and Senate and to Dayton’s desk, which means getting rank-and-file Republicans to sign on to a deal that some will have a hard time with.

One big question after the last shutdown was whether state workers would be able to claim back pay for lost time.

But Michael Kuchta, spokesman for AFSCME Council 5, said a memorandum of understanding between unions and the Dayton administration before the shutdown granted laid-off workers the right to apply for unemployment with the understanding that they couldn’t claim lost pay when recalled.

The state could still face lawsuits, however, from businesses and citizens who decide they were harmed by the shutdown.

Tom Hanson, who was former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s lead budget negotiator during the 2005 shutdown, said he hoped contingency plans drawn up then would serve the state well now.

“They are better prepared today, in 2011, than we were in 2005,” Hanson said. “There are detailed plans for starting up government after a shutdown.”

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

Comments (43)
  1. jimmy says:

    The greedy GOP are not done collecting their blood monet

    1. InReality says:

      Huh? The proposed budget before was a 10% increase in spending. Isn’t the government too greedy in collecting their “blood” money? We spend too much in this state, if you don’t think so then how much should we spend? How much should people be taxed? Should all citizens pay taxes or just some? What is your definition of a “fair” government budget? Just curious

      1. Citizen says:

        InReality is a Grover Norquist/Tony Sutton supporter who continues the spewing of right-wing treasonous hated of government.

  2. jimmy says:

    The greedy GOP are not done collecting their blood money

    1. Lou says:

      Typical, the free loader came back a second time.

      1. David says:

        Why don’t you stop all the name calling you are no better than anyone else in this world, or are you so perfect you can afford to call other people names just because you don’t agree with what they say?

        1. Jake says:

          It’s because they don’t have anything WORTHWHILE to say. It they could argue a point in a civilized, coherent, civil way, we wouldn’t be in the situation that we are currently in.

          1. shrugged says:

            Jake, come on man! I’ve seen some of your posts. It would take me a 6 pack, 2 shots, and a jello shooter to write some of your stuff. Much less understand why you did.

          2. Mike says:

            Okay, Jake, let’s try this. The GOP represent the wealthy, pure and simple. That is their interest, and that is who they serve, at the expense of the “middle” and lower class. They take and don’t give back, and it is their greed that has gotten this country in the situation that it is in. You can’t cut taxes for the wealthy to the 2nd lowest historical rate, allow corporations tax credits and loopholes that allow them to not pay any taxes, and not produce or allow any type of new revenue and expect everything to just be fine and dandy. But wait, that was all on the pretense that they needed that in order to produce jobs that they have failed to produce. Then, when the deficit continues to increase because we have no aforementioned taxes from them nor new revenue, let’s cry that we need to cut spending and jobs and lower the meager existing lifestyle of the average person who actually struggles to just get by and make a life for themselves and their family. And who gets hurt? Certainly not the wealthy that the GOP represents! And if you are not one of those wealthy, then the GOP has sold you swamp land in Florida and you keep drinking the Koolaid! The only time this country has really prospered is when we have taxed and spent because, really that is the only way you can grow the economy. Otherwise we are on the defensive and just crawling into a shell, hoping that the mess that we have created over the years will magically disappear. If they are not careful with their greed, eventually the public, meaning people like you, will wake up and realize that you’ve been managed and given a tiny little carrot and they have the whole farm! When that day comes, the civil and economic unrest in this country will be truly scary! Good luck!

  3. jimmy says:

    Amy Koch cannot afford to give up the free lunch

    1. LOL says:

      That was good!! Jimmy, are you a fattie by the way?

      1. Jimmy says:

        Not at all, just big boned.

        1. Jake says:

          Hey jimmyjam, don’t bogart that joint.

    2. Tom says:

      @ Jimmy

      Good One LOL!

  4. Jim says:

    I heard they had to keep repeating everything for Dayton. Sounds like the stress is getting to him already.

  5. Sally says:

    Get back on the meds and get it moving Dayton – then please, resign.

    1. The Architect says:

      What a stupid comment. If I had posted that on a public forum, I would have a hard time sleeping tonight.

  6. David says:

    It is so good to know that the everyday person can sit back and complain, I don’t see any of you running for office or trying to fix things in this world

    1. Jake says:

      Well, I’ve served honorably in the military, volunteered for my community on a few occassions, have always PAID TAXES, led a generally lawfulf and respectful life, but I see, hear, and read about so many who FAIL to do the same. Yet, I see very little criticism coming from the mainstream media or dfl lawmakers. Why is that?
      All I ask is that everyone try to do better, stop the blame game, and work harder and expect less, at least for the next few years, because that is what it will take to get this country back on it’s feet. And Murphy and Kessler need to get the BOOT from ‘cco.

      1. Citizen says:

        @Jake. You sound like you might be a reasonably intelligent person, and you can spell. But, you are very misguided about politics. For 30 years the GOP has been trying to dismantle state and federal governments in order to establish a “free market” society run by (guess who!) the corporations. (For a reference see the history of Saipan.) They have already managed to subvert most regulatory agencies into working NOT FOR THE PEOPLE who they should be protecting, but for CORPORATIONS to enable them to bypass or even rid themselves of regulations. Remember the peanut butter scandal? How about mine deaths? And more. Why do you want to participate in a race to the bottom? There was a time up until 1965 when J. Paul Getty (had 2 to 4 billion dollars in the bank) said that it was no fun being a billionaire when the middle class now had access to things that were once the provenance of the very rich. Sure isn’t that way now, is it! But you say we should all work HARDER (wouldn’t smarter be better) and expect less. Do you think your grandparents would have wanted that? NO, NO. and no. Wake up and believing the GOP and the wealthy’s propaganda.

        1. Citizen says:

          The last sentence should be “Wake up and STOP believing the propaganda.” I cannot emphasize enough that supporting subversion of state and local government is incredibly stupid.

  7. Ferris Lind says:

    Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

    1. CHESTER says:

      rebublicanism is a MENTAL DISORDER also

      1. Citizen says:

        Well, both Chester and Ferris, you are buying the political propaganda. It is the GOP who is trying to dismantle Minnesota and the federal government. Not the liberals. The lobbyists are lobbying for corporations. Who is the highly-paid lobby for the workers and taxpayers?

    2. Tom says:

      @ Ferris Lind!

      Actually the GOP / Tea Party / Social Conservatives = Mental Disorder!

  8. Zygi Wilf says:

    I am calling L.A. because Minnesota does not know what is important and not. They need to finance my stadium. What is wrong with you people?

  9. Bernie says:

    Gotta hand it to Dayton – playing the Tea-GOP!

    Of course he “accepted” their offer based on some “reasonable” conditions that can be negotiated – which includes a higher budget than the GOP ever proposed and has steadfastly refused, and and additional construction bondingbill.

    He is the here. The adult. The one reaching out to end the pain.

    Of course, no Tea-GOP’er will agree to this – and no Democrat – the Tea-GOP’er because it was go against their campaign promises, and no Democrat because it’s not the budget they want. And if there are not enough GOP votes to pass the bill = no special session. And is there are not enough votes for a supermajority for the bonding bill (as required” = no special session.

    And because the GOP leaders announced a “deal” with Dayton that they can’t back-up with support from their party, the GOP looks inept unbending and out of touch.

  10. Pavel says:

    The problem with the GOP is a number of those Republicans are hung up on their social issues! Those people walk blindly to the drum! I hope all you folks are smarter in the next election. Democrats are not blameless either, but they are not intransigent like these Tea Party people.

    1. Tom says:

      @ Pavel

      I agree with you the GOP / Tea Party wasted time with their Social Issues! This whole session should have been about the budget!

  11. Pat says:

    Gosh, the Republican “leadership” can’t control its radical right wing from botching the deal? How about coming to a reasonable agreement with the Democrats in the House and Senate, and getting this thing done? How about taxing the rich? How about admitting that the Republican Party is off the tracks?

  12. Citizen says:

    @Pat and Pavel. The GOP is hung up by its pledges to Tony Sutton and Grover Norquist of no new taxes in order to starve government. How can our representatives represent us when they keep signing pledges to those two thugs? How can they abide by their oaths of office when their loyalties obviously lie elsewhere? No wonder Minnesota is still shut down. You notice that there is still rhetoric coming out of Washington about “balancing the budget” when all that has to happen is invocation of Amendment 14, section 4 of the U.S. Constitution because the debt ceiling MUST BE RAISED constitutionally. Why are we having these pointless arguments with each other? Obviously the GOP cares NOTHING for taxpayers and citizens or there wouldn’t be these loyalty pledges.

    1. Tom says:

      @ Citizen:

      Yes they backed themselves into the corner by signing those pledges! They want the job they just don’t want to make the tough decisions!

  13. kevin says:

    Citizen, There are alot of good posts here and on other news stories. But you always tell people they are not right, and then you tell everyone what you think is the right answer.After reading a short post by you over the weekend I find that you are a true elitist. Your statement that Dayton was playing chess and the rethugs were playing checkers confirmed my opinion. Actually Dayton was playing Russian rullette with a fully loaded revolver and he had the first spin. You better watch where you are walking, with your nose so high in the air it’s only time til you walk into a wall.

  14. Citizen says:

    kevin, it’s better than walking with my head up my a$$ as you do–very hard for you to see in that position!

  15. Captain America says:

    By all means lawmakers, TAKE YOUR TIME! It’s not like this is about anyone’s convenience, but your own…. Wouldn’t doubt it a bit if this whole deal goes belly yp again. Yup, take your time!

  16. Citizen says:

    @Captain America. Scary for me, but I do agree with you. This deal is going down hard for both sides. Reminds me of the age old physics question of what happens when the immovable objects meets the irresistible force!

  17. kevin says:

    Citizen, with that statement you are only confirming what I stated. Your opinion is the only one that counts. You don’t agree with anything I say because I ‘m letting you know that you are an eliisted blow hole and not afraid to tell you so.

    1. Citizen says:

      @kevin. I don’t agree with anything you say because you are an ignoramus and a bigot. You live your life with blinders on regarding history and statistics and economics. And you refuse to learn or listen. I know vegetables who are smarter than you.

  18. Give me liberty says:

    What Liberals fail to realize (or simply refuse to accept) is that raising taxes is not the only way to increase revenue. Grow the economy and you will raise much more revenue than implementing economy crippling tax increases during a recession. 20 percent of 2 million is more than 30 percent of 1 million.

    The progressives need to stop being blinded by their altruism. The only solution is not to increase taxes on the rich. Grow the economy to increase revenues. A rising tide benefits ALL, a lowering tide impacts ALL. And it impacts the lower class the most either way.

    1. Citizen says:

      Well, Give me liberty, we’ve had over 30 years of the rich asking to have their taxes lowered so they could create jobs–they did create jobs–OVERSEAS! I agree the best solution to the present economic problems in Minnesota and the U.S. is to grow the economy. Please enlighten all of us as to how you would do that when jobs are not being created in the U.S. The U.S. is a consumer economy and without jobs consumers DO NOT SPEND. It becomes a downward spiral to the bottom. Fewer jobs, less money for the middle class, less spending=fewer jobs, less money, less spending. I think you understand the cause and effect. Give us concrete suggestions on rising the tide, because I only know that right now if jobs aren’t being created–TAXES NEED TO BE RAISED ON THOSE WHO HAVE BENEFITED THE MOST DURING THE LAST 30 YEARS!

  19. kevin says:

    I agree with you (Give Me Liberty) the problem with growing the economy is that it doesn’t produce more free money for people that refuse to work. What it gives them is an opportunity to go get a job which is a dirty word to parasites on the tax payers.

  20. kevin says:

    Citzen, the answer to your question to whom is the high paid lobbist for the worker and liberals is Mr communist himself- George Soros.

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