ST. PAUL  (AP) - The impact of shutting down Minnesota government would be felt far beyond the state work force.

State officials have been warning thousands of outside contractors and vendors that their work and payments could come to an end soon. State government pays private businesses and non-profit agencies about $2.5 billion a year for various jobs and services. Hundreds of companies are currently working on construction projects, including roads, bridges and public buildings.

Tim Worke from the Minnesota Chapter of Associated General Contractors says a shutdown would be tough for an already fragile construction sector. He says contractors don't know if they should be canceling supply orders or if they'll face penalties for missing project deadlines.

A months-long budget impasse between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers threatens to close government services July 1.

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