REID J. EPSTEIN & TIM MAK
July 1, 2011
Minnesota’s government shut down at midnight local time Friday after six months of negotiations between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the state’s Republican-controlled legislature failed to produce a budget compromise.
At a late-night capitol press conference attended by the very GOP legislators with which Dayton was sparring, the governor blamed Republicans for refusing to budge from a no-tax increase position.
“They would prefer to protect the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else,” Dayton said. “Instead of taxing their friends, they would prefer very damaging cuts to healthcare, public safety, mass transit” and other state services.