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Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 07/01/2011

Minnesota: Scenes from a government shutdown (photos)


Rep. Steve Smith, left, with his aid Cody Wither, wait for other Republican members to arrive Thursday night to start negotiations. (Kyndell Harkness/AP)

At 12:01 Friday, after six months of debate and seven days of negotiation, the Minnesota government was shut down for the second time in six years.

At its root is a fight over how to close a projected $5 billion budget deficit. The Democrats wanted to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of state residents. The Republicans wanted to increase spending cuts.

About 20,000 state workers are officially laid off as a result of the shutdown, and the state parks will be closed for the holiday weekend at an estimated loss of $12 million. Here are scenes as the minutes counted down to the disappointing end result for both sides:


Gov. Mark Dayton (D) announces that the two sides were still not close to an agreement at the state capitol Thursday night, an hour before the Minnesota government was shut down. (Kyndell Harkness/AP)

Visitors cleared the beach area Thursday at Flandreau State Park in New Ulm, Minn., as Ben Prehn, an employee at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, prepares to close the popular swimming spot in anticipation of a government shutdown. (John Cross/AP)

Rep. Ernie Leidiger (R), left talks with Rep. Doug Wardlow (R) on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday. (Kyndell Harkness/AP)

Park rangers erect a barricade Thursday to an entrance to Temperance River State Park near Lutsen, Minn. (Eric Miller/Reuters)

Members and supporters of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees hold a vigil Thursday at the state capitol steps. (Carlos Gonzalez/AP)

Lawmakers' parking spots were empty on Friday in front of the Minnesota State Capitol. (Jim Mone/AP)

By  |  03:02 PM ET, 07/01/2011

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