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Minnesota Shuts Down

Six months of negotiations ended in booing and hissing Thursday night when Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced that his state’s government would shut down as a result of a failure to reach a compromise with Republican legislators on how to deal with the state’s $5 billion budget deficit.

Dayton was elected last December on a promise to preserve state services by increasing taxes on the richest 2 percent of Minnesotans, but Republicans won control of the Legislature for the first time in decades by refusing to raise taxes, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Dayton’s proposal would have raised income taxes on 7,700 Minnesotans who make more than $1 million a year. Both sides are now expected to battle for the public’s support while many state services remain closed.

A quick guide to the closures can be found here. –ARK

Politico:

Minnesota’s government shut down at midnight local time Friday after six months of negotiations between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature failed to produce a budget compromise.

… “They would prefer to protect the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else,” Dayton said. “Instead of taxing their friends, they would prefer very damaging cuts to healthcare, public safety, mass transit” and other state services.

Dayton a former senator elected in 2010, and GOP legislative leaders, who seized power in the 2010 GOP electoral wave, remain $1.4 billion apart in talks to close the state’s $5 billion budget deficit. Dayton said Republicans have refused to consider his initial proposal to raise income taxes on the top 2 percent of earners or a later suggestion to increase taxes on people who make $1 million or more — a group he said totals 7,700 in a state of 5.3 million people.

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