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Minnesota shutdown could be more severe than other states’ past disputes

Minnesota is the only state to face the possibility of a government shutdown this year, but at least twenty states have had late budgets since 2002.

Here are some states that have shut down over budget disputes:

Michigan, October 2007

Dispute: Lawmakers disagree how to close a $1.75 billion deficit

Resolution: Sales tax expanded to cover variety of services, income tax increase on wealthy

Length: Four hours

Pennsylvania, July 2007

Dispute: After not having a budget since July 1, Gov. Ed Rendell orders 24,000 government workers to stay home on July 9

Resolution: Governor drops plan to plan to institute utility surcharge to fund clean energy

Length: 24 hours

New Jersey, July 2006

Dispute: Governor Jon Corzine’s budget includes raising the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent to close a $4.5 billion budget gap. Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts disagrees, along with the Democratic Caucus. 45,000 non-essential workers furloughed, Atlantic City casinos closed and casino workers stay home.

Resolution: Assembly Democrats agree on sales tax increase and increases on car rentals, luxury cars, cigarettes and other goods, with half of the proceeds of revenue from sales tax going to property tax relief — New Jersey property taxes are highest in the nation.

Length: Seven days

Minnesota, July 2005

Dispute: State lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty reach an impasse over healthcare, education and taxes. Partial shutdown happens when 9,000 state workers are furloughed.

Resolution: On July 9, Gov. Pawlenty signs budget deal that includes increases in cigarette and property taxes.

Length: Eight days

Tennessee, July 2002

Dispute: Republican Gov. Don Sundquist supports instituting a state income tax to close an $800 million budget gap in a $9 billion budget, while the state legislature opposes instituting an income tax.

Resolution: Legislators agree to raising sales taxes, business taxes, and alcohol and tobacco taxes.

Length: Three days

The National Council on State Legislatures writes that the Pennsylvania shutdown cost $3.5 million in lost wages, while the State of New Jersey missed out on over $3 million in revenue a day from the closure of casinos and lottery.

Minnesota Public Radio lists what kind of services would be open or closed if the state government shuts down. However, this shutdown is likely to be worse than the past one — and many others — since many more workers will be furloughed, fewer services will be deemed essential, and the state is in economic recession.

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