Shutdown: it could idle some state employees, too


As Minnesota coped with day two of the country's partial government shutdown, the prospect that it could cause furloughs of some state employees emerged.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter says in an Associated Press story that more than 3,000 state workers are paid with money that comes from the feds. Those reportedly include a number of health workers and many of those who work in school lunchrooms. Schowalter says in the story that those workers remain on the job for the time being but layoffs are possible as the situation evolves.

The thinking of federal employees is evolving, too, as many second-guess their decision to work for the government. The Huffington Post illustrates that by pointing to the woman who founded the Minnesota chapter of Young Government Leaders. The 29-year-old employee of the Department of Homeland Security had been looking forward to a long career in public service but Leah Phifer now tells the Post she's looking elsewhere, saying "I want a life that doesn't include biannual panic attacks over arbitrarily losing my job."

Will some members of Congress lose their jobs over the shutdown? Lots of fingers are being pointed in hopes of making that happen. The Star Tribune reports new Republican radio ads attack Minnesota Democrats Tim Walz and Rick Nolan for refusing to defund the health care law. Meanwhile Democrats, the Star Tribune says, have sent out automated phone calls to constituents of John Kline and Erik Paulsen, blaming those Republican Congressmen for the shutdown.

Most members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation say they will not accept paychecks during the shutdown, the Associated Press reports. The AP's breakdown shows some are donating their salaries to specific causes, while others are asking the government to keep the money.

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