MPR News reporter Catharine Richert's been doing great work answering reader questions and digging up vital information on the consequences of a potential state government shutdown.
Generally speaking, Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin agrees with Gov. Mark Dayton's petition that state correctional facilities, nursing homes, public safety, and payment of medical services are all "core functions" of government.
Here's a quick look at how the court's ruling affects individual government programs and departments, and how many employees will continue working in each area. This list is not exhaustive. You can read the entire ruling here. Dayton's initial petition is here.
Corrections: 3, 601 workers
--Operation, support and basic security of correctional facilities will continue.
--Re-entry programs and placement coordination will continue, as will educational programs.
Department of Employment and Economic Development: 696 workers
--Unemployment insurance claims will continue, as will benefit payments and collections.
--Disability Determination Services will continue.
Education Department: 6 workers
--Support for critical services will continue.
--A system to report the mistreatment of minors will remain in place.
--Payments to school districts will remain in place.
Health: 189 workers
--Vaccination distribution, drinking water supply protection and food inspection services will continue.
--Response to public health emergencies will stay in place.
--Issuance of birth and death certificates will continue.
--The WIC program, which provides food and nutrition education to low-income pregnant and postpartum women will remain in place.
Human Services: 5,165 workers
--The Minnesota Sex Offender program will continue.
--Payment and administration of programs including food stamps, welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid will continue because all get federal dollars. As a result, the court concluded that it must live up to its federal obligations.
--The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which includes child care programs, will also continue. However, other child care programs not under the TANF umbrella were not deemed critical by the court. More information about these programs can be found in this petition submitted by the Amici Coalition of Child Care Providers and Supporters.
--Pharmacy payment authorizations will continue.
--Judge Bruce W. Christopherson ruled Tuesday that courts should stay open. Read his ruling here.
Labor and Industry: 32 workers
--Construction industry inspection services and support staff will remain in place.
--Worker compensation claims and benefit activities will continue.
Military Affairs: 150 workers
--Duluth and Minneapolis airbase security, fire fighting and operations will continue. --Training at Camp Ripley will continue. --Security for military arms and equipment statewide will remain in place.
Minnesota Management and Budget: 183 workers
--State employee insurance administration will stay in place.
--State employee payroll will continue.
--Cash management - meaning the writing and administration of money to critical services - will continue.
Minnesota Zoo: 150 workers
--Staff to keep animals healthy and the property secure will stay in place. The court added that it's also necessary to fund staff that keep animals from escaping and becoming a danger to the public.
Department of Natural Resources: 220 workers
--Conservation law enforcement, water treatment and hatchery maintenance will continue.
--Dam safety and operations will continue.
--As MPR already reported, state parks - including camp grounds - will be closed.
Pollution Control Agency: 13 workers
--Emergency response will continue.
--The maintenance of four closed landfill sites and seven superfund sites will continue.
--Air quality index monitoring will continue. MPR reported more here.
Public Safety: 1,031 workers
--The state's cops and 911 workers will not be laid off.
--Homeland Security and emergency communications will continue.
--Security of the state Capitol complex will remain in place.
Revenue Department: 43 workers
--Tax payments will be processed, but refunds will not be sent out.
Transportation: 217 workers
--Emergency highway repair will continue.
--Truck permitting and aeronautic navigation will continue.
--In her ruling, Gearin singled-out a petition from the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota that takes the position road construction is critical; in it, the MAGC specifically singled out bridge construction. Gearin agreed that construction that prevents a bridge from falling is a core government function. However, she wrote that while a "government shutdown will significantly delay completion of present projects, increase costs and put numbers of employees out of work... Those things do not justify the Court ordering the funding of non-critical core functions." Read the MnAGC's petition here.
Veterans Affairs: 980 workers
--Veterans homes will continue to operate.
--Critical assistance for veterans will continue, though claims services will be limited.
--The state veterans cemetery will remain open and operating.
There is already enough of not enough for people really all over the world but there's been enough layed off already and Rebates or Taxes processed and not given is Rediculous anything for a little more money for the Greedy Think this is an INJUSTICE and God already said his Peace about Greed, Wealth of the Wicked and God is on the side of the Poor and Needy , the Homeless the worker's there jobs and every penny that's rightfully there's / ours One Day every knee will Bow Let's just pray that the wealth of the wicked is one day is surrendered and given instead of God allowing other things to happen to pry it out of there tight Greedy Hands He said Pure Religion is to Give to the poor, the widowed the sick, needy people and every person on this earth is a different case it should be a case by case scenario run income to the families and workers!!! Oh there's so much more I will write probably but for now I Trust even those who don't believe still have to answer to the King of KINGS & Lord of Lords JESUS he said one day you will see I pray it's not to Late when you see! Lord open the eyes that need to be opened shut the ones that need to be shut and Make the CHURCH your Chosen people stand up and take up the place we all should walk in We too are to be walking as Government Spiritually speaking and Lord help everyone who has a heart and a ear Hear and obey where there suppose to support and Give Your Kingdom Come Your will be Done NOW on earth in us through us as it is in Heaven Let Love and Cheerfull Giving pour out as you asked and cut that Fear based mentality that we have to save , Hoard up for ourselves be stripped and replaced with Liquid LOVE Sharing , and Giving Let the thief who always comes to kill steal and Destroy in our churches and Government STEAL NO MORE!!!!