Shutdowns Loom in Iowa, Minnesota

By: - June 27, 2011 12:00 am

Though a government shutdown was threatened on the federal level earlier this year, it is likely to happen at the state level first, as lawmakers in Iowa and Minnesota haggle over their budgets with just four days remaining in the current fiscal year.

Iowa’s legislative session is already the third-longest in state history , and talk of a government shutdown is growing louder as Republicans who control the governor’s office and the state House of Representatives clash with Democrats who control the state Senate. The parties are divided on a number of bills, but most notably on property-tax reductions sought by the GOP and Governor Terry Branstad, according to The Quad-City Times .

In Minnesota, the newly Republican Legislature has been on a collision course over spending with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton since the beginning of the legislative session. Dayton, who campaigned in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy, vetoed the Legislature’s budget earlier this year because, among other things, it did not include the revenue he had sought. Negotiations between the parties appeared to break down on Sunday night (June 26), The Associated Press reported .

If a government shutdown occurs in either Iowa or Minnesota – with the possibility appearing much stronger in Minnesota it would be the first one in the nation since Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell ordered a partial state closure in 2007 (though Michigan technically experienced a two-hour shutdown in 2009). The Pennsylvania shutdown lasted nine days.

For a list of other recent government shutdowns, click here .

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