Minnesota state shutdown the longest in US history
Minnesota's state shutdown entered day 12, making it the longest in US history and leaving 22,000 state employees unemployed.
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Nonessential state services are halted, leaving 22,000 state employees unemployed as Minnesota legislators remain unable to agree on a new budget. It's day 12 of the Minnesota government shutdown, now the longest state government shutdown in U.S. history.
Jim Ullmer, who inspects commercial vehicles for the state, is one of the temporarily unemployed. He is currently not receiving a paycheck and is trying to remain frugal. "Hopefully we will be able to wait it out, but if it gets too long you have to start looking for some sort of employment," he said.
Lawmakers are doing little to move from their original campaign promises and Bill Salisbury, chief political reporter for St. Paul's Pioneer Press, said the state elected "polar opposites". "Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton ran on a campaign on taxing the rich," said Salisbury. "On the other side is our new Republican majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate, who ran on campaigns to reign in state spending."
Both parties need to reach an agreement on how to fill the $5 billion state budget shortfall in order to end the shutdown.
Jim Ullmer has his solution: "The clear option is you got to start taxing the top two percent. They pay a percentage less that I do. Let's be fair about it, let them pay the same percentages that public workers pay."
A conservative advocacy group, Minnesota Majority, estimates that the shutdown is costing the state $65 million per week in revenue.
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