Minnesota cities worried about a government shutdown

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined the chorus of city officials angry over the possibility of losing state aid in the event of government shutdown. Coleman appeared with members of the League of Minnesota Cities, police and firefighters Wednesday at the state Capitol to urge the governor and the Legislature to come to an agreement on a budget to avert a shutdown.

The League filed a response to the Attorney General’s petition challenging the state’s authority to delay or stop local government aid payments if state government shuts down July 1. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said public safety represents two-thirds of St. Paul’s budget. He said a government shutdown would impact public safety, although he declined to give specifics.

“There is no other way to say it than we will see dramatic, dramatic, dramatic decreases in public safety services in the city of St Paul absent that local government aid check, and it’s not just true in St Paul – it’s true in all of our larger cities, it’s true in our medium-sized cities and it’s true in our small cities.”

Minnesota cities are expecting one-half of their local government aid payments on July 20. If DFL governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders can’t agree on a new budget, state government could shut down July 1.

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