Government shutdown will affect workers, taxpayers in Minnesota

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are heading into the holidays unsure of when they’ll be paid next with a government shutdown still looming and no end in sight.

Taxpayers will eventually be on the hook for this government shutdown and the last one cost the country around $24 billion.

Here in Minnesota, the state budget could be affected.

As the White House and some lawmakers indicated Sunday, the partial government shutdown is likely to drag into the New Year as neither side appears willing to budge.

President Trump is refusing to sign any government funding bill without $5 billion for his border wall.

“I think we’re going into the New Year and this is going to be a tough one to resolve, because it’s become a matter of principle,” said Hamline University Political Professor David Schultz. “Trump wants this wall as a matter of principle, Democrats don’t support this wall as a matter of principle. It’s kind of hard to compromise at this point.”

Schultz says the timing of this shutdown is different than others in the past. With Congress set to re-convene Dec. 27, it’s unclear how long a quarter of the U.S. Government will keep its doors closed.

Federal parks, museums and access to getting passports and some government-issued mortgages might be difficult, but essential services are still in operation.

“The military gets paid, the prisons are still there, the prison guards are still there, Grandma still gets her social security check,” Schultz added.

Still, the cost to the U.S. economy and Minnesota’s state budget could have lingering effects.

“As we go into 2019 the new governor and state legislature are putting together a state budget based upon some assumptions about what the economy looks like and how much federal money is coming in and this could now cloud the picture and make it more difficult to do budgeting or make some projections,” said Schultz.

Compared to other states, Minnesota actually has a smaller percentage of federal workforce, meaning the state gets far less federal money than some of our peers.