January 15, 2019 06:52 PM
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan on Tuesday announced their administration's efforts to try and minimize the impact of the federal government shutdown on the state.
Now in its 25th day, the shutdown is the longest such closure in U.S. history.
Walz, Flanagan and other state officials were joined by faith leaders at a press conference Tuesday to discuss how the state will cope with the challenges the shutdown has produced.
"This is an issue that draws us together," Walz said. "It is about responsible government."
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans says every day the shutdown continues brings more uncertainty.
"Uncertainty is not good for the Minnesota economy," Frans said at a news conference in the Governor's Reception Room. "The longer this shutdown goes on the more uncertainty it will bring."
Frans said 6,000 of 17,000 federal workers in Minnesota are either working without pay or on furlough. He says the state also relies on about one billion dollars a month from the federal government to pay for a variety of programs ranging from Medicaid to veteran's programs to food stamps.
"Just to be clear, those are Minnesota's hard-working tax dollars that went to the federal government and we give more to the federal government than we get back than all but three states, so this is a situation of not looking with Minnesota's hand out," Walz said. "This is looking and asking the federal government do your job. If you're not going to lead we will."
The administration's action plan includes:
Walz said the state will be able to continue on through Feb. 15 without extending funds that have already been appropriated.
"They've left a lot of states on their own," Walz said of the federal government. "They've left a lot of people on their own. But this is a state that will not leave anyone behind. This is a state that says we're all in this together."
After serving 12 years in Congress and experiencing previous shutdowns, Walz says this one is obviously different and more serious because it's now the longest in history.
"My final message is end this damn thing," Walz said. "Get a compromise and move on."
Updated: January 15, 2019 06:52 PM
Created: January 15, 2019 10:31 AM
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