The Minnesota Legislative GOP, in the waning hours last Thursday before the shutdown, introduced a “lights-on” bill – a bill that would provide a couple of weeks of short-term funding to keep state services going to those who need them, and are genuinely dependent on the state.
Governor Dayton dismissed the bill as a “stunt”.
At the Alexandra House, a women’s shelter in Blaine that depends on state money, executive director Connie Moore has begun spending the shelter’s savings to keep the doors open. The desperate move won’t buy much time.
“We’re gambling right now,” Moore said. “If we don’t get reimbursed, the impact will be long-lived.”
The GOP’s “stunt” would have kept Alexandra House operating and solvent.
Governor Dayton tossed that aside to protect…AFSCME’s ability to retire at 55 with full taxpayer support?
In St. Paul, Rhonda Nelson, who is deaf and blnd, just lost her eyes and ears to the world. The aide who helps her go grocery shopping, to doctor’s appointments, to the post office and other appointments has been deemed non-essential in the state government shutdown.
For someone who already spends most of her days in dark silence, losing the service is heartbreaking. “I’m basically stuck at home,” said Nelson, 65, a former disabilities educator from St. Paul, speaking through an interpreter.
The GOP’s “stunt” would have kept Ms. Nelson’s eyes and ears, as it were, functioning.
Dayton sacrificed Ms. Nelson’s eyes and ears to…what? Chastise entrepreneurs.
Programs that help get families out of homeless shelters, allow single parents to stay in the workforce, provide safe havens for battered women and allow those with disabilities to enjoy everyday life have suddenly lost funding and are teetering on the edge of closure.
The GOP’s “stunt” would have fixed that, while the negotiations continued.
Dayton couldn’t have that.