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Proposal pushed to reimburse state workers for shutdown

Minnesota state employees who were forced to use their vacation time during a July 2005 partial government shutdown would be paid in full under a bill Minnesota lawmakers are considering.

A House committee approved the payments, and a similar bill awaits Senate consideration.

Many state employees were sent home in 2005 after lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty could not agree on a new budget. Some needed to use vacation time or not get paid.

Employees already have been paid for half of their vacation time, but the new bill would pay them for the rest of the time.

The Pawlenty administration does not support the measure because workers negotiated the partial reimbursement in union talks.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.