Shutdown fallout

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.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Bill Merryman on 07/05/2011 - 02:48 pm.

    Other than having to change my location for camping on the 4th holiday from a state park to a private campground, I have seen no other discomfort from the shutdown. I whole-heartedly support the Republicans and say “keep it shutdown”. The only reason all those state employees are screaming is that they are afraid we’ll all find out we really don’t need them afterall.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 07/05/2011 - 06:24 pm.

    Ah, Mr. Merryman. So you wouldn’t mind never being able to renew your driver’s license again, or to be afraid every time you drove over a bridge that hadn’t been inspected for years, or wanted to prove you owned the house you live in, or that you were born, or married, or wanted a refund of the portion of income tax you know you overpaid, or needed help from the highway patrol or … golly, this list could go on for many paragraphs, but I think you get the idea.

    State employees, and all public employers, are working FOR us and deserve to be paid a living wage, with benefits.

  3. Submitted by will lynott on 07/05/2011 - 07:38 pm.

    I don’t hear any state employees “screaming.” Does anyone else?

  4. Submitted by Claire Lundgren on 07/05/2011 - 11:15 pm.

    It’s not only the state employees who are not working. The racetracks remain closed even though they are totally self supporting and the couple thousand people out of work are only the tip of the iceberg. That entire industry is being held hostage by a technicality that puts the money paid to the Racing Commission, state vets, and track stewards (and paid in advance) to be held in escrow by the state. The commission is in charge of disbursing the wages rather than the tracks. ANother week of shutdown and the horses will leave because this is the time of year when they have to earn a living. This could lead to a permanent shutdown and the end of the industry in the state. At the last impact study it was determined that the equine industry represents and spearheads a $2 billion industry. How do you think the loss of all that revenue will affect the state? ANd that has nothing to do with RAcino which would bring in a couple hundred million every budget cycle as the governments share and disregards the taxes to be generated by the jobs to be created. It makes my blood boil that the public still thinks they subsidize the track! Not even one iota close to the truth.

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