Shutdown impacts - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Shutdown impacts


Rochester, Minn. (KTTC)--

Anxiety is building for many state-funded agencies as the clock ticks down to July 1st. If no budget deal is reached by then, the government will shut down in one of the largest state closures Minnesota has seen.

There were groups like Possibilities, the YMCA, even the public library at this meeting, all to address the serious problems a long shutdown could mean. Because this time, 90% of the state government would shut down.

"The longer it goes, the more damage that's done."

Talks about a government shutdown are heating up. With just 10 days until the July 1st deadline, there's no guarantee a shutdown will happen. Or if it does, how long it will last.

"Nobody is sure what is going to happen."

But the governor and lawmakers are not giving any signs of budging, and that's not giving these folks a lot of hope.

"There is no safety net out there at the moment. And that's one of the scary parts of this for everybody in this room," says John Hunziker with the Rochester Public Library.

They are the people who see first-hand the kind of help state-funded services provide for disabled and low income residents in Olmsted county. And they say a long shutdown could seriously hurt Minnesotans who rely on state aid to live, from health care to child care.

"What I'd really like to see is our local officials and all of the officials in the state, including the Governor, to remember why they got elected, and that was to help people," exclaims Hunziker.

And lawmakers are hearing words of frustration and support in hundreds of daily emails. The problem boils down to each side fighting for what they really believe is the right direction for the state. Only, they hit a fork in the road a long time ago.

"What people may not understand is that the republican budget that the governor vetoed had a lot of the same effects that people are worried about in a shutdown. In other words, the republican budget takes a lot of money out of health and human services," explains DFL representative, Tina Liebling.

"We're willing to work with him. We've shown that by compromising on giving back a central point of our original budget, which was tax breaks for businesses to hire more people in Minnesota. So it's not like we're unwilling to work, it's at what point do we make decisions that ultimately in the end are detrimental to Minnesotans in Minnesota," says Republican representative Mike Benson.

So as the clock continues the tick, the frustration will likely build even more, as visible progress remains at a standstill.

Governor Dayton has appealed to the courts to keep certain state employees funded, those he says are essential to Minnesota. A court decision on that appeal will likely take some time and a mediator has to be appointed.

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