Sunday, July 10, 2011
Enough Is Enough, Governor We Need To Turn the Lights On.
The estimates of the cost of the shutdown are the losses that the state is taking and no one that I know of is estimating the losses to Minnesota businesses and workers who have lost there jobs. My uneducated estimate is that when this is all over and costs to Minnesotans are put into the formula, the cost will be somewhere around 80 to 100 million a week. There will be costs that never will be put into the formula such a medical costs from loss of benefits, vandalism, thefts, etc. and some of that has already occurred. Although state employees are keeping there health insurance, any non-state employee who gets laid off as a result of the shut down, doesn't get to keep theirs. They may be eligible COBRA, but that is expensive and most people on unemployment can't afford it.
Unemployment costs will also hit the companies who have to lay people off, unemployment is employer funded, so even companies not affected by the shutdown could see there unemployment rates rise.
The costs of a continued shutdown will eventually hit the pocket books of almost everyone in the state. It also appears that there is no pressure on the legislators to end the shutdown, since most of them, 139, are getting paid and all are receiving their benefits. The Governor is also a millionaire, so he could care less about his paychecks, but he is also receiving his health benefits. The other question arises that no one is talking about and that is, will the few legislators who are not taking there paychecks, get back pay? I think so, but most laid off, non-state workers won't.
In view of all that is not happening, and the potential loss to everyone, it is time for the Governor to call a special session and turn the lights on.