Day: June 14, 2011

The heavy cost and burden of a government shutdown

Last Saturday I got my layoff notice from the Minnesota Management & Budget dated June 10, 2011.

I am just one of about 42,000 state workers who got the letter in the mail with the bad news of the impending shutdown effective July 1, 2011.

But the effect of a possible shutdown reaches far beyond the 42,000 state workers.

I heard that just from MnDOT alone, over 6,000 certified letters were mailed out to contractors and vendors to inform them about the possible shutdown. (The number increases to over 10, 000 in the next week)

Yesterday I was talking with someone from my church about the government shutdown. She told me that her business that provides technical training has already seen the negative effect of the possible shutdown because no new students are enrolling in the program due to the uncertainty with the state aid situation.

I know managers at state agencies have been heavily involved in contingency planning in the last few weeks. State workers are worried about their jobs, insurance, payments, etc. The uncertainty has caused anxiety and low productivity.  

The cost of preparing for a possible government shutdown, both visible and invisible, is hard ot measure. For sure, it is a costly process.

It seems like a waste of money at a time when we should be more resourceful.

In preparation for the layoff, I applied for unemployment benefit today as suggested by the union. I hope I do not have to use it.

Whatever happens in July is out of my control. I can’t do anything about it, so I won’t lose any sleep over it.  

I am glad that I have lived my life with the principle of  saving for rainy days so I don’t live from pay check to pay check. If I have to depend on my biweekly check to survive, then I would be in panic mode now.

But I do worry about my family’s health insurance. Without my job, we will have no health insurance.

I can feel the heavy burden that a possible shutdown has on people and see the Domino effect it has on businesses.

I support Governor Dayton’s balanced, compromise plan which protects our families and communities from devastating cuts.

I hope our Democratic Gov. Dayton and the Republicans who control the state House and Senate can reach an agreement before July 1 to avoid a shutdown. Each party has to give up something and make some compromise in order to get the budget resolved.  

My way or highway is no way to go.