Government shutdown contingency plan bill could reach Senate floor Friday

With budget negotiations in an apparent standstill, an effort to create a government shutdown contingency plan is working its way through the Senate.

Thursday evening, the Senate Finance Committee passed the Republican bill on an 8 to 5 party line vote. The bill would keep the lights on at state agencies if the Minnesota government shuts down on July 1.

The measure could be on the Senate floor Friday.

Republican Senate Finance Chair Julie Rosen called the plan an “insurance policy.”

However, it may not be well received in the House. Republican state Senate Roger Chamberlain, an author on the bill, says he has not talked to Governor Tim Walz or House Democrats about his bill.

DFL state Senator Chris Eaton says she’s “pretty confident” the shutdown bill won’t even get a hearing in the Democrat-controlled House.

DFL state Senator John Marty called the measure “premature” with four days left in the regular session and 45 days before a government shutdown.

"If we can’t avoid anything but a shutdown, let’s do the second-worst. But until then, let’s keep working at it," said Marty.

Budget talks wrapped up around 8 p.m. Thursday. Governor Tim Walz remains committed to finding a compromise, according to a spokesman from the governor's office.