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Minnesota Should Serve as an Example for Washington

This post was originally published on the Public Notice: Bankrupting America Blog.

Following a judge’s ruling, Minnesotans can still see lions, tigers, and bears at the state zoo, but horseracing, construction permits, and pristine parks will remain elusive in the North Star State.

As we reported last week, the state government shutdown after Governor Mark Dayton (D) and the Republican-held Legislature failed to resolve a partisan budget impasse. The shutdown is not only affecting the now 23 thousand unemployed state employees, but countless recipients of state services.

The private sector is taking a hit as 100 road projects are delayed until further notice. Companies find themselves forced to lay off employees scheduled to work on cancelled state jobs and contractors are unable to finalize permits for electrical wiring in homes and businesses.

Managers at the private Canterbury Park horserace track are likely frustrated, as the closure of the State Racing Commission sealed the track, which led to the layoff of one thousand employees and has cost the track $1.3 million in lost revenue.

State parks were also sealed this past weekend, but that did not prevent vandals from stealing property and from causing “thousands of dollars in damage” to buildings. One sheriff believes the damage would have been avoided if staff and visitors would have been at the park.

With the debt ceiling debate ongoing, and our nation’s $14 trillion debt burden unresolved, Washington should heed the warning from Minnesota’s shutdown: when politicians are unwilling to come together to make the difficult decisions, everyone suffers.

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