Friday July 8, 2011…the Minnesota state government shutdown.

Republican Senator Dave Senjem, and DFL Representative Kim Norton were kind enough to sit down with me on Friday, June 8th.

I asked them about:

Whether legislators have known that our state government was using “budget gimmickry” for the past several years.

How Minnesota’s credit rating has been downgraded by at least one rating agency.
(turns out it can have negative effects on cities, schools and counties, too)

The effect the shutdown could have on Minnesota’s reputation nationwide.

What they think about former Governor Arne Carlson’s unveiling of a group of former political and economics “all stars” to try to provide a 3rd budget option.

Here I asked them about:

How to quantify how Minnesota would be different under each budget plan.

This led us to discuss the elephant that’s been in the room for decades: unsustainable rising health care costs which have made up the fastest-increasing portion of Minnesota’s state budget for a long time.

And here we talked about:

Whether state lawmakers should receive their salaries during a government shutdown. The majority of lawmakers are still receiving their salaries, but both Senjem and Norton have opted not to. They share why.

I asked if the Governor and legislative leaders took a long 4th of July holiday weekend.

They discuss whether or not former Governor Arne Carlson’s new budget committee has had an effect on budget negotiations.

Also discussed – a (new) cigarette tax, a racino and…how long could this shutdown last?

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