Minnesota's state government shutdown is officially the longest in state history.
But elected officials in the only state that hasn't finalized a budget aren't in a rush to end the gridlock. No meetings are scheduled between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders today.
With the shutdown in its second week and no end in sight, the state is starting to get bad press, nationally and internationally.
With 22,000 state workers laid off until the two sides make a deal, lawmakers seem content to let the shutdown roll along until one side flinches. Each week those state employees go without pay is another $23 million in lost purchase power, and more than $2 million in state revenue that would be coming in from lottery tickets and state park rentals.
It seems like those numbers would add up quickly, and hurt. But not to Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, who said that if the shutdown lasts until the state fair, which kicks off August 25, it could last until January.
The impasse is bringing attention to Minnesota in the worst way. The state has been analyzed as a political failure by both the New York Times and the Economist magazine, which covers the shutdown in this week's print edition:
Neither side seems to have a clear advantage in terms of public opinion. Minnesotans seem mildly exasperated by the situation rather than enraged.The end of this week marks the first two-week pay period for those 22,000 employees. A couple weeks after that, credit cards, rent and mortgage payments will start to come due. Maybe then we'll see some rage.
Don't worry about the legislators, though. Most of them are still getting their paychecks.
- Business as usual for state GOP during the shutdown, including salaries
- DFL still getting paid during shutdown
- Minnesota Senators not accepting their salary: The full list
- Minnesota lawmakers not accepting their salary: The full list
- Dayton complains about GOP using shutdown to raise money
- Dayton mocked by billboards for role in shutdown