Some state employees returning to work Monday received a handshake and thank-you from Gov. Mark Dayton.
Dayton showed up early Monday at the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Transportation. Some 22,000 state employees who were laid off during the government shutdown began reporting to work Thursday after a budget deal was reached. But for some, Monday was their first day back.
Dayton said many unions and workers have stuck with him despite the temporary layoffs.
"One of the reasons why they were willing to support [me], even during the shutdown, was they knew they were doing this to protect their jobs," Dayton said. "I'm proud to have done so."
But the governor said there will be layoffs. State finance officials don't know the extent of the reductions yet.
Dayton said if the economy stays as forecasted, the state will face a $1.9 billion deficit next biennium. But the governor said he's confident Minnesota will be able to weather that challenge.
Later Monday, Dayton will visit Isanti County to view storm damage and make a stop at the county's historical society. The building in Cambridge was burned in a fire earlier this month.