Posted at 5:52 PM on July 13, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Absent serious budget negotiations, beer and fishing dominated the discussion during Day 13 of the Minnesota state government shutdown. Here's a look at some of the things we learned today.
You can't fish without a valid license. The inability to get fishing licenses is making life really difficult for businesses and tourism in northern Minnesota. Officials in Crow Wing County and Bemidji were spreading word that the DNR was giving the quiet OK to folks to fish unlicensed during the shutdown.
By the afternoon, DNR had squashed the notion.
Would you fish without a license? That's Thursday's Today's Question. Be sure to check it out.
Needy parents and children got a break. Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin, agreed that state child care assistance payments are an essential service that must continue during the state government shutdown.
A beer crisis looms, maybe. State officials say Beer giant MillerCoors doesn't have the needed licensing and so can't sell more beer in Minnesota. MillerCoors says it paid the licensing fees, that this is just a bureaucratic hitch and that the company will not halt its beer sales.
Online, you would have thought the Apocalypse was near.
Bottom line: The thing's likely headed for court.
There is nothing on the horizon that looks like negotiation. Gov. Mark Dayton was in Day 2 of his tour around parts of Minnesota. He still says he's waiting for the next GOP offer.
Meanwhile, GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch writes a piece for the Star Tribune arguing that Dayton is "holding the state budget hostage because he wants to raise taxes and spend more."
And things continue to close.
While the beer and fishing controversies were interesting and a little fun, we got another tough reminder of the serious, rising cost of the shutdown on everyday Minnesotans.
Georgia-Pacific said it would shut a Duluth mill that employs nearly 150 because it could not get the proper permitting because state government was closed.
One thing I would like to know, with all the shutdowns and people out of work, are the people who are trying ( and I use this word lightly) to get things straightened out, getting paid or are they gonna have to hit the unemployment lines like all the other MN state workers? Why should they be privilaged and everyone else suffers? It doesn't seem right for that to happen.
I'd like to hear discussion about the hidden "subsidies" that benefit the wealthy, given their higher levels of consumption. These include experiences like global travel (security, air safety, pollution costs, oil subsidies, US embassies, etc), suburban and exurban living (infrastructure costs, etc)...how about the costs of regulation within the investment world? It is unfair to begrudge subsidies to inner city transit (for ex) without acknowledging these other costs!
Government employees are out of jobs and have no income for now, yet the Governor can travel freely from city to city to whine that the GOP is not working with him. He was recenty elected so he thinks his job is secure, at least for a while. This shutdown doesn't just hurt government employees but all Minnesota residents. There are those who are going to be expecting their property tax refunds, but can't get them. Yet, if you owe taxes they still have workers who are accepting and processing those payments. That tells me the government gets their money, but if they owe you money you won't be seeing it for a while. Those who are out of work have no income, but these politicians won't lose a dime of their income due to the shutdown. I think everyone should be fired and we should start fresh with no politicians being elected. We should elect people who have no political background, but know how to set a budget and stick to it.
"In contrast, during the past 100 days, Republican lawmakers have made 10 budget offers, including three detailed budget compromises, two "blueprint" offers and five official requests that Dayton call a special session for a temporary funding or "lights on" bill."
Back on the 11th:
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says a "counter offer" to Dayton is in the works but didn't say when it would be offered. Scheck points out Republicans haven't offered another proposal since the state government shutdown began
Sen. Koch, you are a failure. Repeating the vetoed budget 10 times is NOT a compromise. You did NOT increase spending by 6%, you just paid off dead-beat Pawlenty's deferrals. And you spent most of the session on social conservative issues, because on the budget you figured it would be easy to just do the Norquist No thing going on in Washington. Get out of the papers, get off the TV, get together with your co-failure Zellers and WORK. Next time you think about or hear any of your colleagues calling union workers lazy and underserving-take a look in the mirror.
I hope the voters remember come the end of ALL their terms that they deserve to be fired. Us, the average workers, would have lost our jobs the first few days we refuse to fulfill our job tasks by walking away from the job site and blaming someone else for our failures. Please do not forget this foolishness when you place your vote the next time around.
Can someone at MPR please direct citizens to the governor's specific itinerary for his tour around the state?