Shutdown Day 8: All quiet as record book awaits

Going into the second week of the state government shutdown, and there are no talks scheduled between Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders. Dayton’s spokeswoman Katie Tinucci says Dayton is meeting with his staff and DFL lawmakers.

“We’re still waiting for Republicans to make us an offer,” Tinucci said.

If the shutdown lasts until Sunday, Minnesota will have the longest state shutdown since 2002 – the year The National Conference of State Legislatures started tracking the data (info from NCSL posted below).

There were three state government shutdowns in 1991 – Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maine.

Pennsylvania’s shutdown was limited because the governor has the authority to continue many services. Pennsylvania’s budget battle in 1991 meant state employees continued to work but didn’t receive a paycheck. That impasse lasted 34 days.

Maine’s impasse that year lasted 17 days. It was considered an “on and off again shutdown” where state workers were ordered off the job for all but three days of the impasse. The dispute dragged on as the two sides disagreed over changes to the state’s worker’s compensation laws.

Connecticut’s impasse in 1991 lasted from July 1 until August 23. The governor of that state was pushing for the creation of an income tax – which was opposed by the Legislature. Connecticut passed several temporary “lights on bills” to keep government running as the governor vetoed three different budget bills. State workers went back on the job on July 9 after the governor approved a stop gap funding bill. The income tax eventually became law.

Here’s the info from the NCSL:

Since 2002, fives states have experienced a government shutdown after starting the fiscal year without an enacted budget. Here are their experiences:

Michigan recently has faced two partial shutdowns. The state’s shutdown in 2007 lasted only four hours-from midnight of the last day of the fiscal year until 4:00 a.m. on October 1, 2007, when the governor and legislature reached a deal for temporary funding. In anticipation of the shutdown campers had been asked to leave state parks the night before. The short disruption also resulted in decreased state police on the highways. Plus, highway rest stops were barricaded, drawbridges closed and traffic cameras turned off. The partial shutdown involved temporary layoffs of 35,000 of the state’s 53,000 employees. In FY 2010, Michigan experienced a technical two-hour government shutdown as lawmakers worked on a temporary spending plan. However, there was no interruption in the delivery of state services.

Pennsylvania experienced a governor-ordered partial shutdown in FY 2008. The governor and the legislature reached a budget agreement nine days into the new fiscal year. After a week of impasses, the governor ordered nearly 24,000 state employees to stay home on July 9.

New Jersey’s state government partially shut down in FY 2007. This occurred despite the state having missed its budget deadline in three of the previous five years without shutting down. Before the governor signed the budget eight days into the fiscal year, 45,000 non-essential employees were placed on unpaid leave. One of the more dramatic results of the furloughs was the three-day shutdown of Atlantic City’s casinos for the first time since their launch. This occurred because state casino inspectors, who are required by law to be present in the casinos, were among the state workers included in the furlough order.

A partial shutdown occurred in Minnesota in FY 2006-the first shutdown in the state’s history. Nine days into the new fiscal year the governor and legislature reached agreement on a temporary funding measure. This allowed the 9,000 state employees furloughed during the shutdown to report back to work.

Tennessee’s state government partially shut down for three days in FY 2003. During that time, classes stopped at public universities, state parks were closed, driver’s licenses were not issued and road construction ceased. Many services, such as public health, welfare, child support, mental health, prisons and highway patrols, continued to be provided.

  • Charles Hathaway

    The MN state shutdown is an embarrassment. But kudos to Mark Dayton for insisting on a sustainable solution to the budget, and for insisting that increasing revenues is necessary to maintain the quality of life that we all appreciate here in MN. And curses on the Republican leadership who refuse to allow their wealthy patrons to be taxed, and who poison the negotiations with calls for Dayton to acquiesce to their extremist and unpopular social agenda.

  • Matt

    I agree that we need increased revenues to maintain the quality of life we appreciate in Minnesota. But looking to the income tax is hardly a “sustainable solution.” I agree that depending on how far you go it could stop the bleeding for a cycle or two at a detriment to our local economy but we are an aging society and the income tax well is a stopgap at best.

  • Chris

    It has to be a combination. Cutting Medicaid is a tax hike on the poor… It shows the Republicans really don’t care about raising taxes just on WHO gets the bill… In this case those who really can’t afford it.

  • RICH

    As a small businessman my top priority is always to make sure my employees get paid and have good jobs. The money that covers their paychecks has to be earned first and my check book balanced. I know you Progressive Marxists have no idea what-so-ever what this even means much less how to accomplish it.

    You Progressive Marxists like to spend, spend spend, and spend some more, then spend some more and spend some more of unmanageable amounts of other peoples money. We all don’t think like Progressive Marxists thank God or unemployment would be ^35%.


    I work 80+ hours a week for crap wages and pay in excess of 55% in combined local stake and Federal taxes. Tell my family to pay “OUR FAIR SHARE” one more time and you force me to discuss the size of your miniature dysfunctional brain.

    The money liberals crave “EXACTLY” like heroin craved by a heroin addict is wrong.

    IF YOU WANT EVER HIGHER TAXES THEN SEND YOUR OWN MONEY IN AND THE DEMOCRATS WILL SURELY SPEND IT ALL!! Send some free money to me while you are at it hypocrites, you dim shallow hypocrites, so progressive when you confiscate some one else’s money. Send your own donation “right now” you hypocrites.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    @RICH, what a thoughtful, nuanced epistle you’ve written. I’m sure your calm logic has convinced everyone who read it. Of course, if you “work 80+ hours a week for crap wages,” you must realize that you won’t be affected by a proposal that people making over $1 million a year (that’s over $20,000 a week) have a responsibility to pay the same proportion of their income in taxes that the rest of us do.