Skip to main content

'End this damn thing': Minnesota leaders say federal shutdown is costing state tens of millions

The state is covering some of the federal funding that's been stopped as a result of the shutdown.

A bipartisan collection of Minnesota's political and faith leaders called for an end to the federal shutdown that they say is putting a strain on state finances.

Governor Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt stood together during a Tuesday morning press conference at the Capitol calling for an end to the gridlock in Washington.

The shutdown of parts of the federal government has entered its 25th day, the longest in history, and is now taking a significant toll on Minnesota finances.

Minnesota Budget Commissioner Myron Frans says that the state has so far paid tens of millions of dollars, potentially as much as $100 million, to cover the shortfall in federal funding over the past month, and there is concern about when the state will be reimbursed by the government.

This includes covering the salaries of around 3,000 state workers who are paid either partially or fully from federal grants, while more than 1,000 furloughed federal workers have applied for unemployment benefits in Minnesota as of this week.

Gov. Tim Walz was careful not to assign blame to one particular side for the shutdown, but had a message for Washington: "End this damn thing."

The impasse in Washington comes as President Donald Trump demands that any bill to re-open the government must contain $5.7 billion to fund a wall between America and Mexico, with Democrats preferring to offer a lower amount for border security purposes.

Governor's plan if the shutdown continues

Gov. Walz has instructed the state's Management and Budget Department to explore how the state can cover vital services in the event federal money dries up, such as Medicaid, veterans healthcare, and highways.

This also includes the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the latest payment for which is being released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week, but will have to last until the end of February.

But Walz warned it may be beyond the ability of the state to assume the responsibility for the pay and benefits of Transportation Security Administration officers at MSP Airport, or corrections workers at the federal prison in Rochester.

Arguably the hardest-hit by the shutdown have been Minnesota's tribal communities, which have experienced "immediate budget cuts to tribal government and to Indian Health Service offices," according to the governor's office, with health workers among those furloughed during the shutdown.

The state will reach out to tribal communities to see if they can assist in any way.

Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard for the latest stories

"The dysfunction in Washington must be met with deliberate and thoughtful leadership in Minnesota," Gov. Walz said. "Our plan will help mitigate the negative effects of the shutdown on communities across our state and protect the critical services Minnesotans need to support their families. If Washington won’t lead, Minnesota will."

Attorney General Ellison has said he will consider going to court to ensure Minnesota is reimbursed for the money it spends to cover the shortfall in federal funding.

Rep. Daudt also called on national lawmakers to find a solution, saying that "doing the right thing isn't partisan," according to the Minnesota News Network.

Next Up

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.

image

Gallery: Sprawling estate near Superior National Forest listed for $2.9M

The property has been in the same family for over 60 years.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.

image

Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

MissingBemidjiTeenBCA

Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.

PacoAndLime

Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.

0

New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.

MadelynHowardMugMonroeCo

Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.

Related

coronavirus, covid-19

Will Minnesota's four-week shutdown be extended?

Some are preparing for an extended shutdown period.

heart monitor, hospital

What Minnesota leaders will be looking for in order to lift shutdown

State leaders don't expect to see results from the orders until the third or final week of the shutdown.

Screen Shot 2020-12-08 at 10.54.41 PM

MN bar defied governor's shutdown, had license suspended, is still open

Havens Garden owner Larvita McFarquhar argues the shutdown is unconstitutional.

coronavirus, covid-19

MN health leaders: Shutdown 'clearly helped change pandemic's trajectory'

Minnesota health leaders believe the partial shutdown played a key role in slowing the spread.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's vaccine progress being hit by federal delays, leaders say

The Biden-Harris COVID prevention plan will be released Thursday.

Gov. Walz and Pres. Trump

Trump: 'Good things happening' after 'very nice call' from Gov. Walz

It marks a shift from his tweet on Friday backing an anti-shutdown protest in St. Paul.

What the federal government shutdown means for Minnesota

The shutdown is now in effect. So what happens next?

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz says he will end his COVID emergency powers Aug. 1

Republicans have been calling for an end to the COVID emergency since three months into the pandemic.