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Letter: Don't forget the 2011 showdown

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They hope that you have forgotten all about it because they are up for election in November. Although most states had budgetary problems during the Great Recession, Minnesota was the only state that shut down.

It was the longest shutdown in state history and the longest shutdown in any state in two decades. They laid off 22,000 state employees. Road construction and repair, including the Highway 23 bypass, stopped, with thousands of construction workers laid off. State parks and rest stops closed, and campers were evicted over the Fourth of July. You couldn't get a fishing license or buy a lottery ticket or take a driving test. The state's most vulnerable citizens received official notices that their health care might be cut off.

Minnesota avoided the most disastrous results of the shutdown because Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered that state functions strictly necessary for health and safety continue. Disaster was avoided due to intervention by the courts and no thanks to the hostage takers, including Gimse and Vogel, who were prepared to take the state over the cliff rather than require millionaires to pay one penny more. Then, they "balanced" the budget by forcing the schools to loan them money.

To add insult to injury, Vogel and Gimse insisted on collecting their state salaries for doing nothing, while thousands of innocent workers were laid off with no pay. Don't let them do it again. Fire them on Nov. 6.

John H. Burns

Willmar

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