Shutdown Deja Vu? Budget Trouble Raises Memories of 2011
ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota's political leaders are entering the legislative homestretch with no budget deal in sight. It's familiar territory.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature have until the May 22 deadline to finish the budget. Few are uttering the dirtiest "s'' word in state government yet, but the prospect of another painful shutdown is looming.
That's what happened in 2011, when Dayton and the GOP deadlocked over solving a $6 billion budget shortfall and brought state government to a 20-day shutdown. State parks and rest stops closed, 22,000 public workers were laid off and fishing licenses were halted.
This time they've got a $1.65 billion surplus to work with. And believe it or not, the May 22 deadline leaves plenty of time to reach a deal at the Capitol.