AFSCME director: Members should prepare for gov't shutdownby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — With no budget deal in sight at the state Capitol, the biggest union for state employees is telling members to prepare for a government shutdown that could leave them without paychecks.
The legislative session must end on Monday, and without a budget agreement, the government would shut down July 1.
"Our members, who make on average $38,000 a year, need to be prepared for the possibility that the legislature will continue to be irresponsible," said Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, which represents 18,000 state employees. "Therefore, they should talk to their creditors, talk to their landlords about the possibility of extending their payments over that period of time when there may be a shutdown."
Seide accuses the Republican controlled legislature of showing no willingness to compromise with the governor.
Republicans say they won't spend more than their $34 billion, two-year budget plan and reject the governor's plan to raise income taxes for the state's wealthiest residents.