Hennepin County says it will keep service centers open

Posted at 4:59 PM on June 30, 2011 by Paul Tosto (0 Comments)
Filed under: Counties

Hennepin County expected to close its seven service centers as part of a possible state shutdown. The centers depend on state computer systems to process various kinds of licenses.

But then a Ramsey County judge ruled this week in favor of keeping many of the databases running. So the county will continue to operate those centers past tonight.

MPR News reporter Laura Yuen writes:

Hennepin County Administrator Richard Johnson says county officials still need to decide at what levels to staff the centers.

"One of our concerns here is Minnesota is shutting down. Today, for example, you can go online, order your driver's license tags, and they will be mailed to you," he said. "That service will not be available if the state shuts down. We think that work will come and divert to our service centers. So do we staff up to handle that or not?"

Johnson says he will likely rescind nearly 130 layoff notices that were sent earlier this week to service center staff.

An additional 1,100 county employees who work in human services still do not know whether they can keep their jobs.

County officials are still sorting through what human services programs will continue during a shutdown. While the court ruling protects federally funded efforts, Johnson says some other areas that are less certain.

"I wouldn't want to minimize that there's still a lot of clients who are going to be affected here that did not get resolved."

Johnson says jobs programs and money for homeless shelters fall into that gray area.


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