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Getting Minnesota government fully operational will take a few days

Getting Minnesota’s state government running again is going to take longer than many anticipated.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said it would take between days and weeks to get state services running again, the Star Tribune reports. And that’s after state lawmakers pass a controversial budget that uses more one-time money to help plug Minnesota’s $5 billion shortfall.

“It seems unlikely state employees will come back tomorrow,” Schowalter said, because it takes a day after a bill is passed for the money to be appropriated.

Most agencies will be operational in a handful of days after the bills are signed into law, he said, but road construction could be delayed for a number of weeks. Schowalter couldn’t specify when individual services — such as the Minnesota Racing Commission (which polices horse tracks) or state parks — would resume operation.

But he and Dayton’s chief of staff, Tina Smith, assured the people of Minnesota that things would progress as quickly as possible. Smith said Dayton, holding to his pre-shutdown pledge, would sign all the bills at once instead of approving them “piecemeal.”

Once they’re law and the money is appropriated, state employees can expect a slip calling them back to work. There is currently no estimate for the shutdown’s cost to the state.

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