Budget battle could hit campers where it hurts

There’s a fair chance the state government will shut down this spring and when/if it does, trust me, the bathrooms are the first to go. They’re always the first to go.

It probably doesn’t cost much to clean a bathroom; we’re guessing the person hired to do so isn’t making very much. But when the funds start to dry up, the “closed” sign goes up first at the state’s rest stops. Nothing gets people stirred up like being unable to pee.

Perhaps that’s why the takeaway in today’s Star Tribune article about declining budgets for state parks headlines the possibility that the bathrooms might close, sending the outraged masses — mostly liberals, apparently — to the bushes.

To get people interested in budget battles, the focus is almost always on the bathrooms.

Operating funds for the state parks have dwindled and by 2019 the shortfall could be between $1.5 million and $5.8 million, depending on which Republican plan gets sent to the governor, and whether the governor will take a stand for sitting down.

The DNR has already stopped grooming trails and plowing popular trails, such as the Gateway and Brown’s Creek trails, and a spokeswoman says what’s coming next will be drastic.

There will be “cutbacks” at 34 parks. You know what that means.

Whatever the Legislature and governor decide — if anything — will take effect on July 1 — the peak camping and vacation season.

  • L. Foonimin

    Current MN House and Senate is madeup of little pissants

  • Will

    I hope everyone knows this can clearly be avoided by having Dayton sign a lights on bill, which is being proposed by a DFL legislator. You are all bargaining chips in Dayton’s game.

    • Rob

      Or buffalo chips?

    • I love the suggestion that a budget battle at the Capitol is a game played by only one person.

      • Will

        Well the lights on bill would stop the games, many states have lights on laws to prevent this gamesmanship. If bipartisan majorities agree it’s time to stop the gamesmanship and a single person refuses to go along with the bipartisan bill it’s extremely clear that individual is to blame.

        Remember how the last shutdown occurred because Dayton didn’t understand what was in the bills?

        Here is Dayton in his own words:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzxp3VLFHhE

        • kennedy

          The ‘game’ is the continuing failure of our legislature, the inability/refusal of the two parties to cooperate or compromise in order to finish one of the jobs they are elected to do: release a budget. A lights on bill would not end the games, it would allow them to continue.

          • Will

            The games would continue but the people wouldn’t be held hostage. That’s a good thing!

          • Pretty lousy negotiating if you give away everything before you even start.

            “Negotiating.” Heh, there’s a word a lot of people in politics may have to look up in the dictionary.

          • kennedy

            The whole legislature looks bad during a shut down. By declining the ‘lights on bill’ the governor is telling the arguing parties he will not rescue them from the mess they appear bent on creating.

            Threatening to shine the light of publicity on ineffective governing is a good thing. Heaven forbid we voters (and non-voters) are ‘held hostage’ and have to deal with the consequences of our voting choices.

          • Will

            Fine then don’t complain when the government shuts down, if you support this strategy.

          • kennedy

            I’m not in favor of a shut down. I am in favor of the legislature doing it’s job. Complaining when they don’t is legitimate, and more effective when combined with voting.

          • “This strategy” is the only thing that encourages two sides to negotiate.

    • jon

      So you are saying Dayton is playing games by not signing a bill that hasn’t been sent to him from the legislature.

      OK……

      I’m going to leave this here, it’s for the federal level, but it’s a good start for basics of how the legislature works (or at least how it is supposed to).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otbml6WIQPo

      • Will

        It will pass and get to his desk, they can’t pass that bill until the regular budget bills get out of committee because those on the left suggest doing so is planning for a shutdown. Dayton rejected the idea of a lights on bill last time around, that’s just a fact.

        • Playing chicken is part of the game. It’s part of the game no matter what party controls the House, Senate, or executive office. It’s how it works. It’s how it’s always worked. It’s how it’s always going to work.

          “Those on the left…”

          Won’t someone PLEASE make a NewsCut comment bingo card???

          • Will

            Ron Latz and others have made tweets saying exactly that, how is “those on the left” inaccurate? I made a similar comment on your next story and also explain how those on the right think too…these are broad generalizations that are also accurate…Did “those on the left” attempt to block Gorsuch? Yes, sometimes it’s okay to use terms like that if the overwhelming majority in that group is taking those actions.

          • It’s not a particularly distinctive term. On the left of what? Republicans?

            The workings of democracy and the political process aren’t pretty, to be sure. But I remain a tad worried at the successfulness of Republicans to portray the fundamental processes of democracy — i.e. the democratic process — as inherently bad.

            https://www.thenation.com/article/the-gop-has-declared-war-on-democracy/

          • Will

            What a biased article, no mention of Reid changing the rules first in 2013. There’s nothing more democratic than majority rule.

          • Joe

            You should read the article before commenting. Second to last paragraph: “Yes, Democrats did invoke the nuclear option for lower-court nominees in 2013”

          • Will

            Then it excuses it as “different”. I did a quick search in the article for “Reid” and it did not appear, I’m reading on a phone.

          • So you didn’t read the article but did a quick search for the reason to dismiss it?

          • Will

            I wanted to see if the article even mentioned Reid’s actions, Reid was never mentioned (as my comment said). It simply went down the path to say it was “different”, just embrace the double standard don’t play games. That’s the one refreshing thing about Trump, he embraces his double standards without shame.

          • That didn’t answer the question. If you read the article, why would you have to search for “Reid”?

          • Will

            I skimmed through it, I started to see bias and then searched for Reid to see if he was mentioned, he was not. I skimmed and didn’t fully read it at first since I saw a ton of bias in the first few paragraphs, I’m on my phone here.

          • Rob

            You “started to see bias.” Where? When the article called out Republicans for enacting voter suppression laws?

          • Will

            The same “voter suppression” laws that exist in socialist European countries, you know like showing an ID.

          • Rob

            We don’t live over there. My concern is voter suppression here.

          • Will

            I was trying to reach out and make us more “socialist”…

          • Rob

            Just make sure to wash your hands before reaching out.

          • Joe

            Also, if there is nothing more democratic than majority rule, I assume you are in favor of getting rid of the Electoral College? As I’m sure you are aware, Hillary won the majority of votes.

            Further, Democrats won the majority of votes in Senate races, so they should get the majority of seats.

            So under your ideal majority rule idea, we’d have a Democratic Senate, and Hillary Clinton as president. Meaning we’d have Merrick Garland as a Supreme Court Justice.

          • Rob

            Merrick Garland would have gotten a majority of the vote in the Senate. But I’m guessing that’s an inconvenient truth that doesn’t fit your anti-left majority rule narrative.

          • Will

            GOP had control of the Senate they set the rules.

          • Rob

            Republican actions that have – and will no doubt continue – to sabotage and curtail the democratic process are what worries me. And not just a tad.

          • Rob

            Look up “Mitch McConnell/Merrick Garland.”

          • Will

            Looks like an amazing strategy now, doesn’t it? Remember when Harry Reid lied about Romney’s taxes??? Which is worse a full out lie, slandering a good man or clearly telegraphing your political goals and using that strategy to win elections?

        • jon

          ok, so last time around was last time around, this is this time around. Glad I could help you clear up that bit of temporal confusion.

          Now that we’ve solved, You want dayton to stop playing games and instead skip the rules and sign a bill that hasn’t been sent to him yet.

          I might not be a fan of how the sausage of government is made, but your solution of giving dayton a pig and a hammer and demanding that he make sausage seems like a much worse solution.

    • Kassie

      I’ve spent the last few minutes googling and can’t find anything about a lights on bill. Can you link to where you heard this?

      • Will

        This is where I heard it, a tweet from Rep. Sarah Anderson in response to the linked tweet:

        Is he referring to the Dem Mary Kunesh-Podein’s “lights-on” amendment? https://t.co/8WcbQGq2WX

        • Kassie

          So there is no lights on bill. There may be a lights on amendment, but you only know this from a tweet, but you are sure it will pass and head to the governor. How can you be so certain?

          • Will

            Because I listen to the right leaning legislators a few times a week, I get to hear about their priorities and how they think…I am confident it will be passed to at least put Dayton on the record on this issue.

          • // right leaning legislators

            leaning. Heh.

            http://gph.is/18e1Vse

          • Will

            If the DFL legislators wouldn’t give such boring speeches that kind of safety hazard wouldn’t happen, also people wouldn’t have a desire to play cards in the back room.

          • I’m guessing you made that characterization without actually hearing any of the speeches.

          • Will

            Sorry I should have put the 😉 up, it was a bit of a joke…I have heard from legislators that some of those speeches are boring and I do listen to them on their video debates online on major issues… like Sunday liquor sales. 😉

  • Rob

    I love American Exceptionalism.
    Pro tip: Never travel anywhere without an empty coffee can and a roll of toilet paper.

  • Al

    Traveling with kids, including twin infants, mandates lots of stops at rest stops when on our way to visit Grandma and Grandpa in ND. Let me tell you, the folks that keep our rest stops clean are FANTASTIC. We know damn near every stop between here and Fargo, and they’re all good.

  • AmiSchwab

    gop has got something against peeing now?