With just 10 days to go until a possible state government shutdown, top GOP leaders are asking Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session to deal with the state's $5 billion budget deficit.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers says it's time. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says that state legislators could at least vote on the budget for roads and other non-touchy subjects. And the governor has unilateral ability to call a special session, but says he won't until he and the Republicans hash out a budget deal.
Come on. Can't everyone just get the job done and go home?[jump]
Evidently not. And there's plenty of blame to around for this shutdown, the second six years if it happens.
That means that at least 36,000 state workers will be temporarily laid off, and 572,000 people who get state help with food, health care and income, won't get it anymore.
At least we'll still be able to ride the bus, for a little while. Also on Dayton's list of essential services: the State Patrol, the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), basic security for prisons, the Capitol, the Governor's Residence; the National Guard, state courts, food safety inspectors--and the Minnesota Zoo.