How badly do Minnesota Republicans want to avoid raising taxes slightly on the state's wealthiest individuals and families, who already pay less of their income in taxes than do average Minnesotans? Badly enough
to shut down the state government over the issue, it appears.
Talks between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders broke off late Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, a judge ruled on what government functions would continue in the event of a shutdown:
"The Court agrees with the Governor that the following critical core functions of government should continue to be funded after June 30, 2011 even if there is no resolution of the present funding dispute between the executive and legislative branches," Judge Kathleen Gearin ruled:
- Basic custodial care for residents of state correctional facilities, regional treatment centers, nursing homes, veterans homes, and residential academies and other similar state-operated services.
- Maintenance of public safety and immediate public health concerns.
- Provision of benefit payments and medical services to individuals.
- Preservation of the essential elements of the financial system of the government.
- Necessary administration and supportive services, including by not limited to computer system maintenance, internet security, insurance of payments.
At 12:01 tonight, if Dayton and the Republicans don't come to an agreement, all other functions of Minnesota's government shut down, leaving up to 22,000 state workers out of work for the duration.