“Core functions” of state to continue in shutdown: Judge Kathleen Gearin issues order

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(UPDATED 6:25 p.m.) According to an order issued on June 29, core functions of the state will continue, including:

1) Basic custodial care for residents of state correctional facilities, reigional treatment centers, nursing homes, veterans homes, and residential academies and other similar state-operated services.

2) Maintenance of public safety and immediate public health concerns.

3) Provision of benefit payments and medical services to individuals.

4) Preservation of the essential elements of the financial system of the government.

5) Necessary administration and supportive services, including by [sic] not limited to computer system maintenance, internet security, issuance of payments.

The order specifically excludes payments to nonprofit organizations, most child care payments, horse racing regulation, and road construction.

Generally, Judge Gearin agreed with the list of critical services listed by Governor Mark Dayton in his petition to the court.

In the ruling, the judge acknowledged that Minnesota non-profit organizations receiving state funding:

… provide services to vulnerable clients. These clients may suffer hardships and fail to make the progress of which they are capable without the assistance of these non-profits. Some non-profit entities will not survive without state appropriations. Neither the good services they provide nor the fact that they may cease to exist without state funding is sufficient cause to deem their funding to be a critical core function …

Non-TANF child care programs will stop receiving reimbursement for low-income children, despite the fact that

not funding non-TANF child care assistance may cause extreme hardship to low income working parents, increase the public assistance rolls because some of these people will have to leave the workforce in order to care for their children and may lessen the opportunities for low income children to succeed in school. These likely consequences can only be avoided by the exercise of legislative and executive branch discretion in settling the budget issues.

Judge Gearin appointed former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz as Special Master to oversee issues raised during the duration of the order—the next month, or until the governor and legislature agree on a budget.

(Full text of order attached.)

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