Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

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Minn. government shutdown could predict future for feds

Disagreement over how to close a projected $5 billion budget deficit led the Minnesota state government to shut down July 1.

The shut down has resulted in about 20,000 state workers officially being laid off, the Washington Post reports.

The budget fight in Minnesota between its Gov. Mark Dayton (D) and the Republican-controlled legislature bears a striking resemblance to the heated negotiations taking place at the federal level.

Not only are federal lawmakers trying to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling, they are also preparing to do battle over the 2012 budget. And similar to lawmakers in the state of Minnesota, congressional Republicans and Democrats don’t seem as though they will reach agreement on budget issues anytime soon.

Without a compromise in Congress, it appears that federal workers – like state workers – are likely to suffer.

Some predict that failing to raise the debt ceiling by August could leave feds without pay or benefits. The inevitable clash between Democrats and Republicans over the fiscal 2012 budget might also result in feds being targeted, as GOP members push for a reduction in the size of the federal workforce and a number of significant programmatic cuts.

One way or another, with partisan battles at both the state and federal levels, government employees should expect a difficult road ahead.

Posted by Alyah Khan on Jul 05, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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