Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A state licensing board for peace officers is shut down along with the rest of state government, but Woodbury made sure no police would fall “in the gap.”
During his petition for additional funding on Tuesday afternoon, League of Minnesota Cities attorney Tom Grundhoefer presented arguments to suggest shutdown-related limitations on Minnesota police departments are putting public safety at risk. According to Grundhoefer, shutting down Minnesota’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) licensing board has made it impossible to recruit, hire or train new public safety officers. In cases where officers move on from a police department, it is impossible to replace them with a government shutdown in place. “The hiring process (for police officers) is lengthy,” Hutchinson Police Chief Daniel Hatten said. “Once we reach the point where an officer can be hired and training can begin, we still …
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Former Minnesota politicians Walter Mondale, Arne Carlson and Dave Durenberger are part of the team looking to find a solution to the state’s $1.7 billion budget gap.
Some of Minnesota’s brightest political minds have put together a bipartisan committee tasked with devising a solution to the state’s $1.7 billion budget gap and ending the state shutdown. The committee, which will begin its work as early as Wednesday, July 6, was created by former Minnesota politicians: Vice President Walter Mondale, Gov. Arne Carlson and U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger. “We were trying to find people with superb professional backgrounds and exemplary roles in impartial public leadership,” Mondale told reporters Tuesday morning at Minneapolis City Hall. Members of the committee include: “This is as good a group as could have been assembled," Carlson said. "With John Gunyou and Jay Kiedrowski, in particular, we certainly have…
Friday, July 1, 2011
While city government operations will be business as usual, the ripples are already beginning to run through Woodbury.
With lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton unable to reach an agreement on the budget Thursday, the affects of a government shutdown vary widely in Woodbury. From folks assuming the Washington County Service Center would close Friday (it won't), to Woodbury city officials saying city services will go on as usual, the shutdown has different implications for different groups, organizations, businesses and levels of government. In Woodbury, city services will be unaffected by the shutdown, Administrator Clint Gridley has told Patch. “We can pretty much operate independently (of the state),” he said. Woodbury receives no state aid funds and there are no road projects that require city-state interaction this year. However, some questions about …
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Republican who represents much of Woodbury in the state House weighs in as a government shutdown looms.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
As we wait for Governor Dayton to call back the Legislature for a special session with a budget agreement, state employees are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. The basic divide seems to be this: Does the state government need more money? Some say yes, others say no. Many say it is time for reform. To clarify, spending in the Legislature’s budget proposal is increased by 12 percent if you exclude American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money from the federal government in 2009. The last biennium spending was at $30 billion, this legislature’s proposal is to spend $34 billion. Either way you compute it—this is an increase in spending and not an “all cuts budget.” Increasing the state budget by $4 billion is still …
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Washington County and the school district, however, are more concerned with the potential impacts.
In the event lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton can’t reach a budget agreement before July 1 and a government shutdown ensues, Woodbury’s day-to-day operations wouldn’t be affected much. “Practically, it’s not going to have a huge impact on what we do,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said Tuesday. Legislative leaders and the governor have been at an impasse over how to close the state’s budget deficit. If an agreement isn’t struck by June 30, the state’s spending authority would be limited and the courts would likely decide which jobs and services are deemed essential. Woodbury receives no local-government aid from the state, Gridley said, noting $1 million that was cut in 2002-03. The city does get some transportation funds from the state, …
Friday, June 17, 2011
South Washington County School Board on Thursday heard how a possible government shutdown could affect area schools.
By a unanimous vote Thursday, the South Washington County School Board approved its general fund budget for the next school year, but a looming government shutdown could affect schools across the district if Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-led Legislature don’t come to an agreement about the state’s budget by July 1. South Washington County Schools Finance Director Aaron Bushberger said the district will be operating at about a $6.5 million deficit for fiscal year 2011-12, and if a government shutdown does indeed happen and last for an extended period of time, the school board might have to do some creative budgeting if no revenue is being allocated to the district by the state. “The big thing for us is state revenue,” Bushberger said …
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
In court on Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton outlined the programs and services that he says need to remain in place in the event of a government shutdown.
In Ramsey County Court on Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton outlined the state services and programs he says need to continue in the event of a government shutdown. In Dayton's response to a petition filed by the attorney general Monday, the governor said he believes "as the Minnesota Constitution declares, that Minnesota's government was 'instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people.'" He went on to say a government shutdown "would threaten lives and safety of the people of Minnesota." All told, thousands of employees would be kept at work despite the fact the state would lack the authority to spend money because of the budget impasse. But the governor also proposed closing more than 50 boards and agencies, while keeping …
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Rep. Kathy Lohmer, a Republican who represents parts of Woodbury, weighs in on budget battle.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Last month, the Republican-led Legislature passed a complete balanced budget that increases state spending at the level Minnesotans can afford and sets our state on track for a sustainable future. Unfortunately, a special session is at hand as the governor remains adamant on a nearly $2 billion tax increase to fuel 15 percent higher government spending. The governor has largely remained absent from the negotiating process, and is instead relying on a massive public (mis)information campaign and rhetorical tactics as he drives us toward a government shutdown. The reality of the situation is that our budget represents increases spending above current levels to fund priorities, drives reform and doesn't raise taxes. Here a just a few reality …
Friday, April 8, 2011
The U.S. State Department can't accept passport applications if there is a government shutdown.
Washington County license centers will still extend their hours and offer discounts on passport photos on Saturday, April 9, but they might not be able to accept passport applications if there's a federal government shutdown, according to a Washington County press release. “If we are not able to accept passport applications, we will work with those customers to provide the best information that we have at the time," said Kevin Corbid, director of Department of Property Records and Taxpayer Services. For the Passport Day event, Washington County’s three license centers in Woodbury, Stillwater and Forest Lake will extend their normal business hours Saturday to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to the press release, and passport photos will cost $…