What Would A Government Shutdown Close?

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

"Our complete focus is on resolving the budget."

That is how spokesperson for the governor, Liz Boyd, responds to questions about a budget shutdown. The governor would make most of the specific decisions about how that shutdown would effect government.

It is clear essential services wouldn't be touched. That's police, and prisons, and likely health and child welfare. Beyond that, though, it's not clear what's essential.

Political analyst Bill Ballenger says he expects department heads would close parts of their departments. He says he really doesn't know how it would work because the government hasn't faced the scenario since 1959.

The precedent from other states doesn't offer much guidance. New Jersey's July 2006 shutdown famously closed casinos and sent 45,000 employees home. State parks, beaches, museums closed too. Prisons, mental hospitals, child welfare offices, and police stayed on.

In Minnesota though, in 2005, parks were open, along with the more traditional "essentials." There, Department of Motor Vehicle offices and rest stops were among the things closed.

The lottery would be an tough choice for the government since it costs money to run, but also makes money for Michigan schools. State checks for schools from the school aid fund, shouldn't go out, according to the constitution. The legislature could authorize emergency spending.

Talk now though is on the spending before them--a budget that must be balanced within ten days, or else.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bill Location: Lansing on Sep 26, 2007 at 01:30 PM
    I think we should impeach Jennifer. She has the power to solve this problem, but she insists on a tax increase to do it. The reason we are in this fix is that the State spent all of its money as if it would always have the same income. If one of us lost our jobs or got laid off. We would have to change our life style, unless you are a auto worker. Most people have to make cuts in their budget to match their income. Can you go to your boss and say I need more money or I am closing my office. My boss would say "Its been good to know you, have a nice life".
  • by Mary Deka Location: 49250 on Sep 21, 2007 at 04:21 PM
    nd Rep Ward to put the interest of Mi before their political benefit. We need people who can be bipartisan and think of what is right for Mi.
  • by eileen Location: southfield on Sep 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM
    Wow, what nasty comments. What makes anyone think that state employees don't work? Or that they make more money than the average person? My husband works incredibly hard to insure peoples safety and he is paid much less than he could have made in the public sector. Why such cynicism towards state employees? Their not the ones making the budget decisions. The state could offer early retirement to employees which would free up enough money to balance the budget.
  • by clare Location: lansing on Sep 21, 2007 at 05:15 AM
    I agree -- a govt shutdown would not only (almost) balance the budget -- we would probably not even notice any difference...do you really think the majority of govt (and State) employees actually WORK!?
  • by Cecile Preece Location: Jackson MI on Sep 20, 2007 at 10:01 PM
    I'm sure they make more than the average person dos so, why don't they a 5% cut in their pay since their perks would make up for some of it,then add that money to keep services going without making more people lose their homes and buisness with higher taxes which would also effect the employment rate further maybe it would attract more. Then when things get better, they could increase their wages back to present earnings.
  • by Me Location: Lansing on Sep 20, 2007 at 06:37 PM
    Nice Pam in Jackson!!!! Are you a State Employee? You better be with that type of statement. You have money for your child to be fed and clothed? Some of us are single parents barely scraping by! Nice comment you idiot!!!!!!
  • by Pam Location: Jackson on Sep 20, 2007 at 01:02 PM
    If the entire state government was shut down for two weeks, it would balance the budget.
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