The state shutdown of 2011, a 20-day stoppage caused by a political budget fight, will return as a campaign issue this year.
Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a liberal group generally allied with the DFL party, said it will run ads against targeted Republican legislators, blaming them for the shutdown.
Carrie Lucking, executive director of the alliance, said in a statement that "extremism ... caused legislative Republicans to reject fair compromises on the road to the state shutdown.”
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature could not agree on a solution to the state's $5 billion budget deficit, resulting in a partial shutdown of state services and programs beginning last July 1. The two sides eventually reached a compromise, but have argued since over who was to blame.
Dayton is not on the ballot this year, but all 201 Legislative seats are. The Republicans hold an 11-vote majority in the Minnesota House and a seven-vote majority in the Minnesota Senate.
Lucking said the ads will be run against Republican legislators in a number of competitive suburban and rural districts.
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During an MPR interview in front a live audience, Dayton reiterated his support for middle class tax cuts, a big boost in transportation funding and universal prekindergarten during next year's legislative session, all priorities he was unable to achieve in the 2015 session.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto, reeling from a new law allowing counties to hire private audit firms to review their finances, said in a statement she has hired outside counsel "to help me assess the implications of this law and its impact on the core function of auditing."