State starts sending out 36,000 pink slips

The state of Minnesota will start sending out lay-off notices to nearly 36,000 state employees tomorrow in preparation for a state government shutdown.

Minnesota Management and Budget says this week it will notify 800 members of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Association that they could be laid off on July 1 if Governor Dayton and the Legislature fail to pass a two year budget. Finance officials say they will send out lay-off notices to another 35,000 state workers on June 10.

The notices will be sent to every state employee, but some of those workers will be required to continue their duties if a judge deems their work “essential.” A state government shutdown could be averted if Governor Dayton and the GOP controlled Legislature reach a budget deal before July 1.

Dayton and the Legislature are at odds over the best way to erase a $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners to erase part of the deficit. Republicans say they can balance the budget through spending cuts alone.

Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have not met to discuss the budget since Sunday, May 22.

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