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Barricades prevent drivers from going in front of the closed Minnesota Capitol. The building is locked until a new state budget is passed. (Don Davis/Forum Communications Co.)

Quiet Capitol, quiet government

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ST. PAUL -- A lone legislative staffer strolled around the Minnesota Capitol rotunda talking on her mobile telephone at midday Friday, the only person in the three-story open area.

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Far above her, flag staffs on the Capitol roof were empty, as were those at the nearby Veterans' Services Building, lacking staff to hoist them each morning and lower them at night.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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