- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Government shuts down after no budget deal in Minnesota
Question of the Day
It’s lights out for Minnesota.
A Democratic governor who sought to raise taxes on the wealthiest residents bumped heads with a Republican-controlled legislature, and their protracted budget impasse shut down state government just after midnight on Friday.
Both sides spent weeks negotiating over how to deal with a projected $5 billion deficit. The talks, which continued in secret Thursday, included marathon sessions over the past seven days between Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party Gov. Mark Dayton and key lawmakers, trying to work through differences and create a compromise two-year state budget. But no such luck.
While Republican lawmakers put on a confident front Thursday afternoon and staged a symbolic sit-in in the legislative chambers, Mr. Dayton emerged from the statehouse Thursday evening telling reporters that a budget agreement was unlikely.
The governor, in a news conference late Thursday night, said he was committed to making it right, even as he defended his position, calling suggested Republican budget cuts Draconian. He described Thursday as “a night of deep sorrow.”
“I will continue tonight, tomorrow and however long it takes to find a fair and balanced compromise,” Mr. Dayton said, noting real progress had been made in the past few days but a fundamental divide over the revenue gap kept them from resolution.
“One basic difference remains. They don’t want to raise revenues on anyone and I believe the wealthiest Minnesotans can afford to pay more taxes.
“I really believe I’ve done everything I possibly could,” he added. “It takes two sides to work out a budget, a compromise. … We share the same goals of making government as cost-effective as possible.”
As the clock ticked down toward the Cinderella hour Thursday, state residents and groups impacted had braced for the crisis. Barriers were erected around the Capitol on Wednesday in anticipation of decreased security.
Union groups had protested in numbers at the capital Thursday to urge legislators to fix the budget — now. The governor has refused Republican calls for a special legislative session that would have
allowed them to work on line-budget items and avert a shutdown.
Preparing for the worst, a Ramsey County judge stepped in to rule Wednesday on saving a few essential public services for cities and counties. Schools will remain open, nursing homes that service poor patients will continue to operate, and police officers will continue to patrol.
But the state zoo, a popular horse racetrack, state parks and jobs for about 40,000 state workers will end after a monthlong stalemate that sent tempers flaring among divided residents.
Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Blatz, an appointed special master, will hear funding petitioners in court starting at 8 a.m. Friday as groups plead their cases for money during the shutdown period.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Bill Clinton audio surfaces from Sept. 10, 2001: 'I could have killed' Osama bin Laden
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world