Ramco Judge Kathleen Gearin has ruled on “critical services” for a potential upcoming government shutdown:
Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin’s ruling came Wednesday, just two days before a state government shutdown would begin. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature would have to agree on a budget before Friday to avoid the scenario.
Dayton and top lawmakers were sequestered in the governor’s office on their sixth straight day of budget negotiations. They have yet to report a breakthrough in a drawn-out dispute over the level of spending in the next two-year budget and how to pay for it. The state faces a projected $5 billion deficit in the two-year budget cycle, which begins on Friday.
Dayton wants to raise income taxes on high earners, while Republicans insist on no new revenue.
One wonders if MPR’s reporter – Elizabeth Dunbar – is aware of the distinction between “no new taxes” and “no new revenue”. New revenue happens when people become more prosperous and pay more in taxes.
I’ll chalk it up to carelessness, and continue.
Gearin said state payments to school districts and local governments should continue even if there’s no budget by Friday. She said the state must also fulfill its obligations to the federal government and continue to administer those programs, including food stamps, welfare payments and Medicaid.
“The failure to properly fund critical core functions of the executive and legislative branches will violate the constitutional rights of the citizens of Minnesota,” Gearin wrote in a 19-page written order.
But Gearin emphasized that state payments during a shutdown should be limited “only the most critical functions of government involving the security, benefit, and protection of the people.”
What a radical notion; limiting government to what it’s actually needed for.
I need to read the order (and so do you, so go and do it) more completely, but it’s hard to read what I’ve seen so far as anything but at least a qualified victory for the MNGOP. Mark Dayton’s attempt to push all the pain of this shutdown onto this state’s most vulnerable residents – which we’ve been documenting for weeks, although the mainstream media can’t seem to be bothered – has been rebuffed for now.
With government doing the things it actually needs to be (or should be) doing, I think Governor Dayton just got chopped off at the knees.