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Minnesota State Government Shuts Down

Surrounded by their Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers address the Capitol press corps June 30 after Gov. Mark Dayton announced no deal was reached to prevent a state government shutdown. (Twitpic, MNHouseInfo)
Governor Mark Dayton holds a news conference announcing budget negotiations failed Thursday night. (TwitPic, MNHouseInfo)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota state government has shut down for the second time in six years after political leaders couldn’t agree on how to solve a $5 billion budget deficit.

Talks between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republicans fell apart well before a midnight deadline. Dayton demanded tax increases on top earners, but the GOP refused.

The effects of the shutdown were being felt even before the final failure, as the state padlocked parks and rest areas. The full impact will hit Friday, with thousands of state employees laid off and a wide array of services suspended.

Critical functions like state troopers, prison guards, the courts and disaster responses will continue.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

See previous WJON state government shutdown coverage.

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