Workers Who Gauge Cost of Minn. Shutdown Are Laid Off

Thursday, 07 Jul 2011 12:44 PM

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The cost of the government shutdown in Minnesota will remain a mystery because those able to figure it out are not working. The shutdown is now at six days and counting, closing parks and toll booths while the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers haggle over a $5 billion budget gap, The Washington Post reports.

Minnesota,government shutdown,layoffs,Management and Budget
However, the talks are proceeding without the essential numbers on its costs as the staff members who would crunch the numbers are “currently laid off,” John Pollard, a spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget, says.

While some state agencies are operating with minimum staffing, others are closed entirely.

Regardless, some costs are available. The Department of Revenue will lose $52 million in taxes every month without compliance officers on the job and Minnesota is losing $1.25 million a day in lottery sales.

Lack of toll booth workers results in about $50,000 in unpaid tolls a week and the shuttered state parks cost $200,000 a day, according to the Post.

Agencies such as the Department of Administration, the Department of Health, and the Department of Education are losing money from parking and licensing fees but can’t put a number on it. The thousands of state workers laid off are also eligible for unemployment.

Pollard told the Post that even with government barely functioning, the shutdown will almost certainly cost the state more than it saves.




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