The state of Minnesota is sending letters to more than 600,000 Minnesotans to notify them that their subsidized health care, cash assistance, child care assistance and other programs could end if state government shuts down on July 1.
The state Department of Human Services started mailing notices Tuesday to 572,000 health care, cash and food support clients. In addition, notices were sent to 42,500 child care assistance recipients and providers; and 7,000 recipients of adoption assistance.
The letter warns recipients that they "may have trouble getting health care services." It says if healthcare providers decline to see them, they should go to an emergency room.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he's hoping he can reach a budget deal with GOP legislative leaders in time to avoid a shutdown. But he said the public has to weigh in if they're worried about a shutdown in services.
"There are going to be an enormous amount of very, very serious effects on many good people throughout the state," said Dayton. "This is, as I've been delving into it over the last couple of weeks, a terrible outcome for the state, so it can be avoided."
A spokeswoman for Dayton says he'll file a petition in Ramsey County District Court Wednesday that outlines what services he thinks should continue to be funded if state government shuts down.
Dayton and Republican lawmakers did not meet Tuesday. They are at an impasse over how to close a $5 billion deficit in the upcoming two-year state budget. Gov. Dayton wants to raise tax rates on Minnesota's highest earners. Republicans say the deficit can be covered with spending cuts alone.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)