With 22,000 state workers laid off and state parks closed, Chris Lapakko is camping out at the State Capitol. This morning the shirtless state worker wearing a pink cowboy hat was brushing his teeth on the Capitol lawn where he said more people could start showing up to live if they lose their homes.
Lapakko gave driving road tests before being laid off in the state government shutdown that started July 1. His homemade signs read “This Is Small Government” and identifies his tent as housing an “unemployed state worker.” DFL Governor Mark Dayton says he plans to reach out to GOP legislative leaders to resume negotiations today.
The July 4th holiday gave lawmakers a chance to hear from folks back home. The Apple Valley parade often features several lawmakers and even the governor. This year only one lawmaker walked the parade route. Sen. Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley) had a hearty group of volunteers with him and he enthusiastically high-fived families packed along the suburban streets. One band leader later said via microphone to the crowd “Anyone notice fewer politicians this year? Maybe they’re ashamed to show their faces.”