Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered the state to do so today and appointed former Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Blatz to serve as a “Special Master” to hear and make any recommendations to the court about spending during a possible government shutdown.
Minnesota Zoo likely to be closed during 4th of July weekend
First impact people may see in a shutdown: the Minnesota Zoo is not on the list of “core services” the state will continue to keep funding. Judge Gearin rejected the Zoo’s argument that the 4th of July weekend is a big revenue generator for the institution and would suffer harm if it were closed. The Minnesota Zoo is funded about 25% from state dollars. Judge Gearin said those concerns need to be resolved by the Executive and Legislative branches, not the Judicial branch. Governor Mark Dayton has determined the only core functions at the zoo are feeding the animals and keeping the exhibits, and the zoo property safe, secure and healthy.
Some road construction projects will continue and cities and counties will continue to receive Local Government Aid (LGA) payments that are crucial for fire, police and other essential services. Judge Gearin ruled those funds have already been lawfully appropriated and should be paid on schedule. This is also true for similar payments to school districts.