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Residents Fear MN Shutdown

June 29, 2011, 5:30 PM by Peggy Moyer

Residents Fear MN Shutdown
LUVERNE, MN - If Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota lawmakers don't come to a budget agreement tomorrow, the state will shutdown.

The republican controlled legislature and democratic governor have disagreed on the state's budget for months.

And, now, with one day to go before an impasse would leave the state without a budget, residents say they're the ones who will feel the pain.

Luverne's licensing office is one of many state services that will be suspended.

"Government has become the biggest business in this country. And, it's all in red ink. And it can't keep going this way. It's gotta stop," said Wayne Walgrave, Luverne, Minn.

Walgrave is frustrated it has come to this. If the state shuts down tomorrow at midnight, residents won't have access to services deemed "non-essential" which means, you won't even be able to get a drivers license.

James Gisen of Chandler just got his CDL. He's making sure to file all his paperwork before the state clock runs out.

"Well, I got that taken care of so I thought I'd come up here quick and get that taken care of before they happen to go on vacation. 

Peggy Moyer: is that a nice way of saying the state shutting down?
James Gison: Yeah, I suppose.

Earlier today a Minnesota judge ordered "limited" critical government services to remain open no matter what.

That includes the state patrol, state prisons and veterans homes, along with federally mandated services such as medical assistance or food stamps.

Other offices or agencies continuing to offer services include: state emergency or disaster services, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, state tax collections, payments under the MinnesotaCare health insurance program, unemployment payments, workers compensation claims, health and safety inspections at healthcare facilities, food safety work, workplace safety enforcement for high-risk employers, state payments to cities, counties and schools, funding for the legislature, skeleton staffing in the governor’s office and security at state buildings.

Forty-six boards and agencies would close or be suspended, state parks would close and state-funded construction projects would stop.

Also included in closed or suspended services: state funding for many non-profits including some child care assistance programs, state lottery and tourism offices, many licensing boards, the Minnesota Zoo and state licensing offices.

A court-appointed referee will decide whether some social service programs will continue.

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