Minn. impasse means shutdown likely
ST. PAUL - A sweeping shutdown of Minnesota’s state government appeared certain as a midnight deadline approached, with Governor Mark Dayton and top Republicans breaking off negotiations to accuse the other side of stubbornness.
Republicans said a deal was close and pleaded with Dayton, a Democrat, to agree to a bare-bones budget bill to avert a shutdown while they come back in special session next week to finish.
Dayton rejected it as a publicity stunt, saying the two sides are not close at all.
The governor called on Republicans again to agree to hike taxes on top earners to help close a $5 billion budget deficit.
Asked whether there was any way to stop a shutdown, Dayton said: “I’m not aware of it.’’
A shutdown would force thousands of layoffs, bring road projects to a standstill, and close state parks just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.
Though nearly all states are having severe budget problems this year, Minnesota stood alone on the brink of a shutdown.