The first of dozens of social service providers began making their case Friday for continued state funding as a government shutdown in Minnesota entered its first day.Appearing before Kathleen Blatz, a retired state Supreme Court judge appointed as a special master, the petitioners ranged from battered womens shelters and chemical treatment centers to the Minnesota AIDS Project.
“I've had a mental illness since 1982,” said Julie Tate of Minneapolis, who sat before Blatz in a wheel chair and lobbied for state funding for Vail Place, a community-based mental health program serving 1,700 adults in Hennepin County. “[I] feel suicidal most of the time.”
Blatz indicated she could start issuing her recommendations for state funding as early as Saturday. But she listened as state Attorney General Lori Swanson and lawyers for Gov. Mark Dayton clashed over how much authority Blatz had been given by a judge to expand a list of critical core services that must be provided by the state during a government shutdown.
Swanson said she expected the list of petitioners would be substantially larger than the roughly 50 that came forward during the state’s 2005 government shutdown. “It’s unprecedented. Minnesota’s never had a full shutdown,” she said.
“I think this is extraordinary times,” added Blatz.
More from Star Tribune
More from Politics
Minnesota's lawmakers and community leaders are brainstorming how to aid their state's hurting black community in a possible special session, though some acknowledge the issues may prove too weighty to take on in a one-day legislative blitz.
A resident of New York's capital city has an unusual economic development plan to harness what he says is one of Albany's most abundant renewable resources: political corruption.
Some leading Republican presidential candidates seem to view Muslims as fair game for increasingly harsh words they might use with more caution against any other…
A sales-tax break the Legislature gave Amazon in 2011 expires Jan. 1, making South Carolina the last state to collect among those where officials cut similar deals with the online retail giant.
Farm-state lawmakers are trying to thwart new clean water rules.