• Countdown to a shutdown
    Protesters rallied at the Capitol on Thursday as rest areas, state parks and the Minnesota Zoo prepared to close — all likely victims of a state budget that might not beat the clock. Without a budget agreement between Gov. Dayton and the Legislature, a state government shutdown will officially begin at midnight.June 30, 2011
  • Minnesota Zoo officials hope to stay open in shutdown
    Minnesota Zoo officials are hoping to keep the zoo open despite a state government shutdown.June 30, 2011
  • Video: Understand the state budget mess in 3 minutes
    Minnesota's governor and legislative leaders have not yet agreed on a new two-year budget, and the deadline to do so without a state government shutdown is midnight tonight. MPR News explains what's behind the budget impasse at the Minnesota state Capitol.June 30, 2011
  • Rally at Capitol as shutdown looms
    More than 500 people rallied on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol today to urge full funding for state programs to support low-income Minnesotans.June 30, 2011
  • Former budget negotiators offer insights on final day
    Former DFL Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Tom Hanson, former deputy chief of staff and finance commissioner for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, explain the budget negotiating process. They were both involved in the 2005 budget impasse and partial government shutdown. What needs to happen today?Midday, June 30, 2011
  • Ruling preserves funding for health care, welfare
    Advocates for the poor expressed relief at a judge's ruling Wednesday that would preserve funding for health care and welfare programs during a government shutdown.June 30, 2011
  • State employees brace for loss of paychecks
    With no budget compromise in sight at the Minnesota Capitol, the reality of a potenital government shutdown is sinking in for thousands of state employees. About 22,000 will be laid off as of midnight Thursday. Many of them are preparing for a big financial shock.June 30, 2011
  • Shutdown: Minnesotans take care of last-minute business
    Many people are in a last-minute flurry to take care of government business: renewing their driver's licenses, getting permits, even buying lottery tickets before non-essential services go dark at midnight Thursday.June 30, 2011
  • Minnesota budget stalemate
    Daily negotiations between Governor Dayton and Republican leaders have not provided a solution to the state's $5 billion deficit. With a government shutdown looming, what chance do last minute talks have towards reaching a resolution?Midmorning, June 30, 2011
  • GOP, Dayton end Wednesday meetings with no budget deal
    Budget talks between lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton ended Wednesday night without negotiating a budget. Minnesota state government will shutdown at the end of Thursday unless an agreement is reached.June 29, 2011
  • Nonprofit groups not considered 'essential'
    Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin ruled Wednesday that while some of the state's nonprofit organizations provide services that vulnerable Minnesotans rely on, it's not a critical core function of the government to continue funding them in the event of a shutdown. MPR's Tom Crann spoke with Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, about how the ruling will impact those groups.June 29, 2011
  • Families, child care services lose out in judge's ruling
    Today's ruling by a judge on essential services is a tough blow for families, and could have far-reaching effects across Minnesota.June 29, 2011
  • Shutdown would halt construction projects, strand workers
    A government shutdown would also suspend electrical inspections required by law for nearly all construction projects, effectively slowing building projects to a halt and potentially stranding workers.June 29, 2011
  • As shutdown nears, state park cancellations mount
    Employees are preparing state parks for closure, and small tourism community boosters say they'll lose millions because of canceled vacation plans.June 29, 2011
  • Shutdown scorecard
    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.June 29, 2011
Photo by AFP/Getty Images

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