Monday, June 27, 2011

Government Shutdown in Minnesota

Minnesota is preparing for a government shutdown if a budget deal isn't made by the end of the month. Thousands of employees would be laid off and many services that depend on state funding would be cut starting July 1 if a decision isn't made between Gov. Dayton and the Republican Party.

I attended a hearing on July 23 at the Ramsey County Courthouse where a judge would rule on motions made to keep certain parts of the government funded should there be a shutdown. Mike Hatch, an attorney called me last week to see if I would make an appearance at the hearing. He filed a motion to intervene under my name, which would be heard in court. It was basically saying for the judge to consider keeping funding for medical assistance open during the government shutdown. I received a letter two weeks ago that said that my medical assistance would possibly be cut in the case of a shutdown. I was there to represent the hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Minnesota who also received a letter and rely on the state to pay for medical assistants.

After the motion was read to the judge I left, and the hearing went on the rest of the day. I found out after the hearing that the courtroom was filled with lawyers, lobbyists, and news reporters and that I was the only public figure. Supposedly I made a huge impact because so many people were wondering why and what I was doing there. I don't believe that they're going to cut medical services but there are tons of other services and programs that will be. This includes state parks and boards such as nursing, physical therapy and pharmacy.

I really hope that if the government shutdown does happen here in Minnesota starting July 1, that it doesn't last very long. It would be a $5 billion deficit and a very big upset throughout.



Matthew Smith said...

The motion is available as a PDF on the MN courts website here.

Anonymous said...

Jenni, there are essential services and benefits (such as those for people with disabilities) but there are also many services and benefits that need to be reviewed and scrutinized. It is my hope that the Minnesota State Government can come to their senses and differentiate those services that are essential vs. those that are not. We need money available for those that are truly in need.

Cheryl said...

surprised ADAPT MN wasn't there...