With Minn. Budget Talks Stalled, Social Services Make Funding Plea

A state district court has ordered programs essential to life, health and public safety to continue during the shutdown. A judge is now holding hearings and will make recommendations about which programs fall into this category.

The Associated Press/Minnesota Public Radio: Social Services Beg For Money In Minn. Shutdown
In the second day of such hearings, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz heard pleas from advocates for the homeless and indigent and sexual assault victims, as well as child care providers, police officers and prosecutors, hospital officials and more. The hearings have been a lesson in the deep and wide-reaching tentacles of state government. ... A state district court judge has ordered programs essential to life, health and public safety to continue during the shutdown, and Blatz must make recommendations to her on which programs qualify. ... Ben Peltier, legal counsel for the Minnesota Hospital Association, said hiring at its 45 member hospitals has halted because state background checks required by law aren't available. Large hospitals can probably shuffle existing staff for a few weeks, but some 65 smaller hospitals that typically treat 25 or fewer patients could end up short-staffed, Peltier said (Condon and Lohn, 7/5). 

NPR: Minnesota Budget Talks Stall Again
While the state's essential employees, such as health care workers and prison guards, are being retained, some 20,000 "nonessential" workers are at least temporarily out of a job. That makes them eligible for unemployment, which will cost the state more money (7/5). 

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