The Minnesota Government Shutdown Explained in Photos

By Rebecca Greenfield

How things went down when the state's Democratic governor and Republican legislature reached an impasse over its budget

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After budget talks between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers broke down on Thursday, June 30, the Minnesota government shut down.

The two sides were unable to agree on how to close a $5 billion gap in the two-year budget before the end of the fiscal year, causing non-critical public institutions -- like public parks and the zoo -- to close for the long Fourth of July weekend, and more than 20,000 state employees to be laid off temporarily.

Republicans have been refusing to raise taxes and want to cut spending, while Dayton wants to tax the state's wealthiest residents to help balance his larger proposed budget.

The governor holds the power to call special sessions of the legislature and declined to immediately resume negotiations after the failure to reach an agreement, though talks resumed Tuesday.

While the stalemate continues, former state Supreme Court judge Kathleen Blatz -- appointed as a special master for the duration of the crisis -- is holding hearings reviewing individual requests by agencies to have their funding continue during the shutdown. Below we've compiled a gallery showing how things went down in Minnesota.



AP

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-minnesota-government-shutdown-explained-in-photos/241476/