Judge Blatz hears pleas for continued state funding despite shutdown

With the state shutdown in place, Judge Kathleen Blatz is now in the spotlight, working as the special master hearing appeals from groups and people who think their needs are essential and should be funded.

Blatz, a former state Supreme Court justice, began a hearing at 8 a.m. today from petitioners ranging “from battered women’s shelters and chemical treatment centers to the Minnesota AIDS Project,” said the Star Tribune.

The Associated Press said the appeals ranged “from the heartfelt to the highly technical,” as residents and groups pleaded for funding.

She also heard from state Attorney General Lori Swanson and lawyers for Gov. Mark Dayton who disagreed over what power Blatz has been given to decide on what state services are critical. Blatz was appointed special master by Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin, and will make recommendations to her, possibly starting tomorrow.

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