Government Shutdown Fever has gripped the halls of the Minnesota statehouse.
(Reuters) - Minnesota's state government began a broad shutdown on Friday going into the July 4 holiday weekend after the Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders failed to agree on a budget.
The impasse means around 23,000 of roughly 36,000 state employees will be furloughed, and all but the most critical state functions suspended. Parts of the government had already begun to shut down on Thursday ahead of the midnight deadline.
State parks and campgrounds have closed ahead of what is usually their busiest stretch of the year for the July 4 holiday, and dozens of highway rest stops were shut down for one of the biggest travel days of the year.
The circumstances surrounding the miniature government shutdown of Minnesota is a mirror image of the hostage crisis currently taking place in Washington.
Like their capital hill counterparts, the Republicans of Minnesota are demanding that the state budget be balanced through spending-cuts alone while ruling revenue increases off the table. Even if the Democrats of Minnesota are willing to meet them halfway, or perhaps even two-thirds of the way, they still can't reach an agreement.
Because of Republican's hostage-taking on this fourth of July weekend, parks will be closed, the zoo will be closed, rest areas will be shuttered, and a number of concerts that were scheduled to be held in public venues will be canceled.
Happy Holiday America!