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MN Shutdown Inconveniencing Residents, Visitors

July 6, 2011, 6:50 AM by Casey Wonnenberg

MN Shutdown Inconveniencing Residents, Visitors
BEAVER CREEK, MN - Minnesota is entering its sixth day of a government shutdown as the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers still cannot agree on how to fill a five billion dollar budget hole.

Governor Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers plan to meet again Wednesday to try to settle the dispute over taxes and spending. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 Minnesotans are temporarily out of work, and many state services are suspended.

Drivers traveling through Minnesota likely are noticing at least one change: rest stops are closed thanks to the government shutdown.

"We hated stopping at gas stations because then you feel obligated to buy something," Lana Brethauer said.

Brethauer was one of hundreds who stopped at the rest stop just on the South Dakota side of the South Dakota-Minnesota border Monday. She's headed home to Rapid City from Duluth.

"We went by the first one, then by the second one. We didn't know what was going on. When we finally got to Duluth, we got a good station with the news, and that's when they said they had shut all of them down because of the government shutdown," Brethauer said.

Those who are spending time at home aren't noticing as many changes from the government shutdown.

"So far it hasn't really affected me too much. It might be if I was going to go fishing at a state park or whatever," Stanley Jensen said.

Still, Stanley's wife is on disability, and she worries how she might be affected.

"So far I don't really know. I have a doctor appointment soon, and I'll find out," Linda Jensen said.

As far as Brethauer, she's glad her only impact as a South Dakotan was driving through the state of Minnesota.

"We were glad to be back in South Dakota," Brethauer said.

Governor Dayton and Republican state leaders met Tuesday for the first time since the state shutdown Friday, but they did not reach an agreement. Republicans said they again asked Dayton to agree on portions of the budget and pass bills, so the shutdown ends in those areas, but Dayton has resisted that approach.

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