Top Dem remembers Minnesota shutdown as campaign looms

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A top Democratic lawmaker says Minnesota can avoid another state government shutdown by giving Democrats control of the Legislature.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen marked the anniversary of last year’s 20-day stoppage at a Capitol news conference on Monday with state workers who had been locked out of their jobs.

Thissen is blaming Republicans for the shutdown, saying they were unwilling to compromise with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Republicans tell the story differently, casting Dayton as the inflexible one.

The impasse over tax increases and spending levels idled 19,000 state employees, closed state parks, suspended the state lottery and cut off funding to some social services.

Thissen says the state needs “people who are going to be willing to work together and compromise.”

All 201 legislative seats are on this year’s ballot.