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Minnesota shutdown roundup: Government will slowly reopen

The state’s 12 budget bills made their way through the Legislature Tuesday night as Gov. Mark Dayton waited to sign them, ending the 20-day-old state government shutdown.

However, the central question remained: When will the state reopen?

Minnesota Public Radio reported that Tina Smith, Dayton’s chief of staff, said it’s unlikely state workers laid off in the shutdown will return to work Wednesday. Smith also said Dayton plans to sign all the budget bills at the same time, thus preventing a “rolling resumption” of state services.

Also, State Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said it could be a “a period of weeks” before the state returns to pre-shutdown functionality. He added he wasn’t sure when road construction, the lottery and permits will resume and wouldn’t say whether state parks would open this weekend.

• The Minnesota Historical Society, its museums, historic sites and library will all open Saturday if Dayton signs the bills before then, Valley News Live reported.

“It is with great pleasure that I invite the public back to visit all 26 of our popular historic sites, like Split Rock Lighthouse along the North Shore and Jeffers Petroglyphs near Comfrey, as well as metro sites like Historic Fort Snelling, Mill City Museum and the Minnesota History Center,” Society Director and CEO Stephen Elliott said.

The society will also restart its popular concert series this week.

• Dayton said Tuesday he wasn’t sure if he would call another special legislative session later this year to discuss a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, the Star Tribune reported.

“I haven’t decided,” Dayton said, adding he would consider just waiting until next year’s session. “It’s not ready to be considered at this point … I take calling a special session very seriously, and something that I would not do lightly and so, it would have to be circumstances that compel it.”

The Vikings have proposed a $1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills, but the project would require at least $650 million in state and county public subsidies.

The Strib also reported state employees will be given 24-hour recall notices, telling them when to return to work. The most current information, for both employees and taxpayers, will be on the state’s website that has served as the repository of shutdown news: www.bereadymn.com.

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