WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 21, 2011, 10:18 PM

State legislature face criticism over possible shutdown

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Outrage today from people living in Clay County. That anger is aimed at lawmakers, as a government shutdown approaches.

Loren Ingebretsen – Lakes and Prairies Community Action: "Its so widespread damaging to the whole state. To me, its unquestionably wrong."

There were some hard words for lawmakers to hear on a potential government shutdown. And Ingebretsen wasn't the only concerned community member in the Clay County Commission meeting.

Joe Pederson – Lakes and Prairies Community Action "We are hurting the poorest of the poor."

People were asking where desperately needed funds will be coming from once government offices won't be open to pay up.

Rhonda Porter – Clay County Social Services: "There is such a risk in the county assuming that when state government resumes payments will be made on behalf of the state."

Legislators say the battle to balance the budget is tough on their side. Republican leaders say democratic Governor Dayton won't budge and accept cuts to balance the budget. But to them, there is hope.

Rep. Paul Marquart – (D) Minnesota: " There are still 9 days left.."

Lawmakers are proposing cutting state aid to the county from 3.1 million, to 2.9 million. It doesn't sound like much, but every cut impacts someone in the county."

Porter: "These elderly people are wondering if their services will be affected..."

Legislators say they are in uncharted territory with no way to answer community questions.

Brian Berg – Clay County Administrator: What happens to a child in foster care that requires medical care, who is paying that bill?"

State legislature's were left with a harsh warning...

Ingerbretsen - "The ballot box is going to be devastating to the legislature and we can't afford to do this every year."

Governor Dayton will be going to court Thursday to determine which programs will continue receiving aid, "if" a government shutdown were to happen.