As if telling Minnesotans that only people earning more than $1 million “actually work hard,” the state Republicans are continuing to up the shutdown rhetoric, with one state representative now calling the Democratic governor has “no feelings” and calling on him to resign over the budget impasse.
“The guy should resign,” said Parry, a Republican business-owner serving his second year in the Senate. “He should resign as governor and let (Lt. Gov.) Yvonne Prettner Solon finish out his term because he’s shown to me that he doesn’t care about the state of Minnesota.”
Parry said Dayton is willing to use state workers as political pawns in budget negotiations because he simply doesn’t care about them.
“Let me tell you, the governor has no feelings,” Parry said. “If he did, he would not put 22,000 people out of work on July 1. He has no feelings. … The shutdown doesn’t bother him at all. He gets his trust fund.”
Perry, it should be noted, has decided to take both his paycheck and his per diem while the government is shut down.
So what do those 22,000 “pawns” who have been laid off and cannot collect unemployment until July 20th think about the standoff between the two parties? Many of them recognize that the Governor is trying to protect the poorest and most vulnerable Minnesotans in his actions. Via KARE11.com:
[Heather Betts, a furloughed Dept. of Human Services employee] said her work as a training planner in the Disability Services division at DHS helps her understand why Gov. Mark Dayton has gone to the wall in negotiations with lawmakers to protect programs that would be cut in the human services bill he vetoed.
“A lot of people don’t understand how important these services are, but the people out there that are receiving these services, they know how important they are,” she explained.
“You know if they can’t get up, they can’t bathe themselves, they can’t dress themselves, they can’t feed themselves, they need help to do these things. This is to keep them from being fully institutionalized because they don’t need to be.”
And although the furloughed employees are bearing the brunt of the shutdown, they are by no means the most effected. The courts had to meet to decide whether or not keeping the food shelves open for those who are poor and hungry was an essential service or not. The courts finally stepped in to reallocate a state employee to oversee distributions to pantries, ensuring that the state’s hungry — of whom nearly half are children — will still be fed.
In fact, the Governor spent the day attempting to expand what he sees as “critical” state services, asking for “special education aid, chemical dependency and mental health services, HIV case management and counseling and services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes” and “child care assistance and services for the homeless, disabled and other vulnerable citizens” according to the Star Tribune.
A shutdown is a pretty drastic political move to cap “runaway state spending,” as the state GOP put it. But how bad has the spending problem gotten in the last few years? As Secrets of the City notes, Minnesota is actually already on track to spend less then it did during the Tim Pawlenty administration.
So much for a spending problem.