GOP bills would keep some state services open in shutdown

State shutdown
The grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul were closed to the public while the state government was shutdown in July of 2011.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

State Sen. Al DeKruif says the several bills he's sponsoring to keep some services open during a government shutdown simply reflect what it means to run a good state.

Speaking on MPR's Morning Edition Wednesday morning, DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, said last summer's nearly three-week shutdown showed that select government services should be kept running for safety and revenue reasons. The state parks make a $500,000 profit in the month of July, DeKruif said.

"Why would we cut off that money supply when we are arguing about money?" he said.

He said the bills follow criticism he's heard of the shutdown.

"What we need in Minnesota in order to run our businesses is [to] run a good state," he said. "And last summer, quite frankly, didn't feel like we were running a good state."

DeKruif rejected criticism that his measures would reduce pressure on lawmakers to reach a budgetary agreement. He also rejected a DFL bill calling for the Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice to appoint a mediator if a session ends without a budget bill. He said mediation is unnecessary if lawmakers are doing their jobs.

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