Here’s the bottom line:
Minnesota’s Democrat Governor Mark Dayton wants to balance budget by raising taxes instead of cutting the size of state government to fit its revenues. The Republican legislature disagrees with that strategy. As a result, Minnesota’s state government will shut down on July 1st.
Workers will be paid through June 30th and then become eligible to collect unemployment. The state would also pay out accrued vacation time owed — possibly paying out millions as lawmakers struggle with a $5-billion deficit.
Eliot Seide is the executive director of The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — the union which represents thousands of state workers, and he said the union is working to convince 10 Republican lawmakers, six in the House and four in the Senate, to change sides and support Dayton’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans.
Cardinal said she hopes both sides find a way to do what so many state employees to every day — take a broken situation and fix it.
“I would like to say that it will happen,” she said. “I’m trying to stay positive.”
Late on Friday, Republicans released a statement about the layoff notices, calling it “unfortunate.”
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said, “I ask the governor to consider our compromise offer, join us in prioritizing the people instead of raising taxes. If not, the decision to shut down the government will be on Gov. Dayton.”
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