UPDATE: Minnesota Deficit Talks Fail, State Shuts Down
You're welcome, Minnesota: picknickers have been evacuated from state parks because the government has finally shut down, and no one will get to enjoy those precious twelve or so days a year that Minnesotans are not under fifteen feet of snow. It already feels like winter again! We will keep calling it the "Loon State," but at this point just because of its politicians. Governor Mark Dayton's last offer included raising taxes on the top 0.3% of taxpayers, which the Republicans counter-offered with, uh, let's delay another $700 million in payments to schools. Good idea? But everyone hated all those ideas, so the drumbeat of closure went and rolled on down through the state:
As the negotiators toiled over the details, more than 23,000 workers prepared for life without paychecks and the state began shooing people from state campgrounds and closing rest areas. Even before the shutdown, Minnesotans got an early peek at the inconvenience from the mothballing of many state services. Minnesotans could no longer check if their optometrists, barbers or veterinarians had valid licenses to practice. Licensing board offices and various other state agencies pulled the plug on their agency websites hours before the scheduled shutdown.