Editorial: Voters should use voting power come election day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2005

With the partial state shutdown now a part of Minnesota’s history, lawmakers shouldn’t be patting each other on the back &045;this was business they could have &045; and should have &045; agreed on without putting 9,000 workers on leave. Voters should remember the cost and inconvenience later.

In addition to the inconvenience to state residents, some employees took vacation time so they could continue getting paid. Let’s hope they are reimbursed for that time &045; they didn’t ask to be put on &uot;vacation&uot; and would likely have chosen a different week. Of course, those previously scheduled for vacation during the week-long shutdown shouldn’t expect compensation.

Without figuring employee vacation compensation into the mix, rough estimates of the cost of the shutdown is at $3 million &045; add these state employee vacation reimbursements and it could climb.

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With state finances still a long way from healthy, lawmakers should have put their differences aside long before the term concluded &045; Minnesota simply can’t afford the extra expenses related to the shutdown and neither can residents. Let’s hope they won’t be asked to shoulder the burden.

Elected to do what’s best for the state, lawmakers fell way short of the mark &045; there’s simply no way to justify the shutdown &045; and voters should remember the leadership issues that caused the first shutdown in state history come election time.