WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published June 07, 2011, 11:28 PM

Republican Leaders Propose Way To Prevent MN Shutdown

A Minnesota republican leader says there is a way to shut down a state government shutdown.

Republican House Majority Leader Matt Dean said the GOP has a budget compromise, and now the ball is in Governor Mark Dayton's court to prevent a state government shutdown.

Dean said summed up how it could affect the state by referencing a state employee.

"She said, 'I don't have two are three months of paychecks saved up. I can't go one month without a paycheck," said Dean in downtown East Grand Forks.

According to Dean a shutdown does not have to happen because Republican State Leaders have a scenario where they meet Governor Mark Dayton half way.

"Where we come together with a six percent growth, more revenue than we had last time to fund our priorities within that," he said.

A proposal called Kids, Cops and Courts. Dean said The proposal meets Dayton's requests for more money for education, public safety and judiciary funds.

It outlines $80 million dollars for education and $30 million for courts and law enforcement.

Dean feels this is a better alternative to Dayton's proposal for a $1.8 billion tax hike for Minnesota's highest earners. Plus, no shutdown.

"There is no sector of the economy that wouldn't be touched by that," Dean said.

Across the state hundreds of thousands of state employees would be laid-off. For East Grand Forks, it could mean a loss of local government aid and a big money-maker: The Red River State Recreation Area.

"I know times are trying and the pressure is on, but gosh, if you want to have some outside visitors you can't afford to close a facility like this," said George Ritchie, camping with his wife and friends.

Another nearby camper at Red River is a little more lively about the situation.

"It's just the politicians pissing at each other right now. Hopefully they get it settled," said Jim Hartry.

Dean said he hopes Dayton will compromise with Republican lawmakers, so they can hammer out the rest of the budget before a July government shutdown.

"It's just completely unnecessary and avoidable.">