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Shutdown: 6 Days In and It’s Costing Millions

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A six-day-old government shutdown in Minnesota is costing taxpayers millions – a toll that will only rise the longer it lasts.

The nation’s only government shutdown already means that people aren’t spending their normal $1.25 million a week on lottery tickets. State auditors aren’t pursuing tax cheats. And 22,000 laid-off state workers are due to start collecting unemployment checks next week.

State officials won’t be able to calculate the full cost until the shutdown ends.

Budget talks are expected to continue Wednesday, but Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative Republicans are still divided over raising taxes and cutting spending as they seek to erase a $5 billion deficit.

The government closure also threatens to slow an already sluggish economic recovery as those who lose state-dependent jobs tighten their spending.

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

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