Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

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Minn. government shutdown expected to end soon

Minnesota lawmakers have reached a budget deal to end the state’s two-week government shutdown – the longest state government shutdown in U.S. history, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

According to the article, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislators said they plan to work through the weekend to fine-tune details and call a special session to pass the budget bill. The state’s government is expected to be up and running again within days.

Minnesota’s government shut down Friday, July 1, leaving 22,000 state employees without work or pay.

But the budget debate wasn’t all bad news for government employees, as Dayton, a Democrat, forced Republican legislators to drop a proposed 15 percent reduction in state workers from the spending bills.

As I wrote in an earlier entry, the budget fight in Minnesota is similar to the tense negotiations taking place at the federal level.

For now, President Barack Obama and House Republicans are arguing over raising the nation’s debt limit with no clear resolution in sight.

Experts have said that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, federal employees would be among those who suffer the consequences, including furloughs and holds on salaries and benefits. (See related FCW story)

John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service, said a debt default would be worse than a government shutdown because a default presents an unprecedented situation.

“There’s nothing good that happens with regards to the operation of government,” he said. “There’s no silver lining.”

Posted by Alyah Khan on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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