Top 10 – #1 State Government Shutdown
UNDATED - Today (Friday) we wrap-up our countdown of the Top 10 News Stories of the year with our #1 story. The state government shutdown this summer dominated the news, and impacted thousands of Central Minnesotans.
The timing couldn't have been worse, the state shutdown on Friday, July 1st at the start of a long holiday weekend. It meant people who planned to go fishing had to get their licenses ahead of time, anyone who had a camping reservation at a state park was out of luck, the "not welcome" sign was put out at the state's rest areas and travel information centers, and the Historical Society's 26 sites were paddle locked.
As the shutdown dragged on, small businesses were affected, liquor stores that couldn't renew their licenses couldn't sell alcohol. Non-profit organizations also felt the pinch, with organizations like Tri-Cap and Senior Linkage shutting their doors. MnDOT also reported several road construction projects in central Minnesota had to be either delayed or pushed back to next year.
Governor Mark Dayton also brought the stalemate to St. Cloud he held a public meeting with State Lawmakers at Apollo High School.
Then, finally after 20-days, Republican Legislative Leaders and the Governor reached an agreement to fix the state's $5 billion budget deficit and end the shutdown.
Part of the agreement included a nearly $500 billion bonding bill, which included $42 million for a new Science and Engineering Lab for SCSU.