Top 10 Things To Do While The State Is Shutdown
10. Hug a veteran: some of their services might be deemed “essential” but they’re sure to feel a big impact.
9. Take a state employee out to happy hour: they’ll need some cheering up, and a cheap drink.
8. Buy a do-it-yourself book on road repair: someone needs to fix those pesky potholes.
7. Volunteer to help valet park at the emergency room: clinics and care services that shutdown will be redirecting their patient needs to the (much more costly) emergency services.
6. Donate to a nonprofit: not only will a shutdown mean the threat of funding losses for nonprofits but it’ll also mean they’ll need to pick up the slack of what government is no longer doing.
5. Take Grandma to the casino to play the slots so she can replace that missing scratch card fix: a state shutdown means the state lottery will close and remember that 40% of the lottery’s net profits go to the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund, so you can extrapolate the consequences from here.
4. Start moving more desks into your kid’s classroom: the Department of Education’s office in charge of granting and renewing teachers’ licenses is likely to close and, I’m told, schools have a thing against letting unlicensed teachers into a classroom.
3. Tether your goat herd on the capital lawn: no one will be mowing while the government is shutdown, I’m sure everyone in St. Paul will really appreciate the help here.
2. Hope it doesn’t storm: the Department of Public Safety does have a contingency plan if that state faces a major emergency during a shutdown but they will not be operating at full capacity.
1. Plan a summer vacation that doesn’t include the words “Minnesota State Park”: Maybe buy a projector and show your kids photos from your favorite trips to state parks from years gone by and pepper your visual tour with phrases like, “In my day the parks were open year round.” Or, heck, take a camping trip to Speaker Zellers’ yard.
Plenty of other posts and news stories will question who is at fault for the shutdown so this is not a story about that question. But there is a broader point to this list: a silver-lining in what will otherwise be a tragic time in our state’s history is that the shutdown will serve as a reminder to the public about the value of the state government.
The state does a lot of good for the people of Minnesota that the private sector could never replace, government has value and what we are going to lose during the shutdown proves that fact. Here’s to hoping our political leaders are reminded of that quickly and a compromise is reached.