Today’s MN state lay-off notices — here’s the list

From 15 people at the Bureau of Mediation Services to 115 at the Perpich Center for Arts Education to more than 4,000 at the Department of Natural Resources, lay-off notices go out to Minnesota state employees today. If the legislature and the governor don’t reach budget deals by the end of the month, more than 9,000 government employees could be out of work. Here’s the list:

Perpich Center for Arts Education – 115

Department of Education – 405

Minnesota State Academies (Academy for the Blind, Academy for the Deaf) – 261

Department of Agriculture – 489

Minnesota Board of Animal Health – 43

Department of Natural Resources – 4294

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – 940

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources – 97

Department of Commerce – 351

Explore Minnesota Tourism – 57

Department of Employment and Economic Development – 1490

Minnesota Public Facilities Authority – 8

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals – 10

Department of Labor & Industry – 460

Public Utilities Commission – 56

Bureau of Mediation Services – 15

MN.IT Agency Staff (IT employees that support the agencies listed above) – 360

Total employees – 9,451

Some state employees are classified as “critical” or “essential,” meaning that if they don’t work, there’s a threat to public health or safety. You’ll notice that the Minnesota Highway Patrol, for example, is not on the list. Some of the employees receiving lay-off notices today may get reclassified as essential. I’m betting that the Board of Animal Health is essential, given the current avian flu epidemic.

State government should not shut down. With a $1.9 billion surplus, failure to pass a budget is inexcusable. Instead of stuffing the omnibus budget bills with poison pills, the House Republican majority needs to get down to the business of governing.

For a review of the issues at stake, see:

Click here for memories of the last Minnesota government shutdown, when legislators kept getting paid, but workers got laid off or worked without paychecks in 2011.

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