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Minnesota State Government Shutdown: Day 1

1 min readBy: Richard Morrison

Well, it happened, and the blame is flying thick and fast. The inability of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-led state legislature to come to a budget agreement has shut down large parts of the Minnesota state goverment:

In Minnesota Friday, highway construction came to a halt, rest stops and state parks closed. And 22,000 state workers have been laid off. The reason: a protracted budget dispute between the state’s Democratic governor and Republicans who control the legislature.


Minnesota is the only state to have its government shut down this year, even though nearly all states have severe budget problems and some have divided governments. Dayton was determined to raise taxes on the top earners to help erase a $5 billion deficit, while the Republican Legislature refused to go along with that — or any new spending above the amount the state is projected to collect.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to listeners of the Tax Policy Podcast, of course. Yesterday, when I talked with Peter Nelson of the Center for the American Experiment in Minneapolis, we discussed the contentious budget negotiations and the very likely prospect of just such a chain of events.

More on Gov. Dayton’s taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. plan here.

More on Minnesota taxes in general here.