Deal In Place To End Minnesota Shutdown

Jul 15, 2011
Originally published on July 15, 2011 12:29 pm
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MARY LOUSE KELLY, Host:

Good morning, Tom.

TOM SCHECK: Good morning.

LOUSE KELLY: So this shut down has lasted for two weeks. But it was part of a bigger budget standoff that's lasted nearly seven months. What finally broke the impasse?

SCHECK: And also they had to drop a 15 percent of - their push to cut 15 percent of the state's workforce. Once they did that, the deal was in place and they're starting to move forward now with what's next.

LOUSE KELLY: It's interesting. I understand that similar to what we're seeing here in Washington, some freshman Republicans aligned with the Tea Party, were playing a prominent role in calling for reduced government spending. Are they onboard with this deal?

SCHECK: You know, one member I talked to yesterday said she was torn. You know, she had concerns about the way that financing this budget's going to be done. But she was ecstatic that they won't be raising taxes. You know, she said the whole country was watching Minnesota, and it would've sent a message to the entire United States if they, quote, "caved on tax hikes."

LOUSE KELLY: Well, paint us a little bit of a picture of what these past two weeks have been like. What's been the impact of two weeks without government services?

SCHECK: So there were concerns that way. So this problem was evolving over time, and I think the governor and lawmakers started to see that this was having a big impact.

LOUSE KELLY: And when do we expect to see this shutdown officially end?

SCHECK: Probably next week. The governor says that he hopes it's within days. The legislature has to get together and stitch together the bills. That's going to take over the weekend. The governor could call them back into special session as early as Monday. And then they're going to have to pass the legislation and send it to the governor. So it could be about a week or so.

LOUSE KELLY: All right. Thank you so much, Tom.

SCHECK: Thank you.

LOUSE KELLY: This is NPR News.

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