As various state agencies brace themselves for a government shutdown on July 1, state workers and residents have been left wondering which agencies and services would be affected.
Governor Mark Dayton on Wednesday released his recommendations about which state agencies should continue offering services with limited staff during a government shutdown-and which should cease operations altogether.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU)-which includes 32 state universities and community and technical colleges-is among the agencies that got an initial green light to continue operations during a shutdown. MnSCU officials learned Wednesday that the system would receive the necessary state support to remain open, and Chancellor James H. McCormick issued a statement saying that he's "deeply appreciative" and that "this is a critical time for the 67,000 students taking summer session courses at our schools and for the tens of thousands of students preparing to enroll in the fall term."
Among other services that Dayton deemed "critical" and wants the state to continue to provide during a shutdown-albeit with fewer staff members-are unemployment insurance payment and collections, Workers' Compensation claims and benefits, and public health emergency response. Inspections for food, health care facilities, and the construction industry also would continue to be performed under his plan. Housing assistance programs and foreclosure remediation would continue, and the courts would stay open. The Minnesota State Patrol would also continue services throughout the state, and emergency highway repairs would be made.
"It is with a heavy heart that I submitted today to Ramsey County District Court my list of those state services which should be continued in the event of a July 1st shutdown and, by their omission, those many services which should not," Dayton said in a statement. "I consider virtually all services provided by the state to be essential, and all of them have been established by previous governors and legislatures to serve and benefit people throughout Minnesota."
Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature have reached an impasse over a projected $5 billion state budget gap over the next two years. The Legislature adjourned last month before a budget deal was reached. If Dayton and legislators can't agree on a budget by June 30, the last day of the state's current two-year budgeting period, a shutdown would occur.
The full list of Dayton's agencies recommended to close are:
Amateur Sports Commission
Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design
Barber Examiners Board
Behavioral Health & Therapy Board
Black Minnesotans Council
Bureau of Mediation Services
Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board
Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board
Chicano Latino Affairs Council
Combative Sports Commission
Cosmetologist Exam Board
Dietetics & Nutrition Practice
Emergency Medical Services Board
Explore Minnesota Tourism
Gambling Control Board
Higher Education Facilities Authority
Human Rights Department
Indian Affairs Council
Marriage & Family Therapy
Medical Practice Board
Minnesota Conservation Corps
Nursing Home Administration Board
Ombudsperson for Families
Peace Officers Board
Physical Therapy Board
Podiatric Medicine Board
Private Detective Board
Social Work Board
Uniform Laws Commission
Veterinary Medicine Board
Water & Soil Resources Board
Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals
For more about how you might be affected by a government shutdown, check out a Thursday Star Tribune story by clicking here.