No debt compromise? Let Minn. be a warning

Because political leaders didn't make "tough choices" in Minnesota, the state government shut down two weeks ago.

Like Washington, it's a budget deadlock between a Democratic chief executive and a Republican controlled legislature.

CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports that Wednesday was the 13th day of the shutdown, and 22,000 state workers have been laid off without pay.

Additionally, the state parks are closed. The lottery is idle. The highway rest stops are off-limits. Yet the most profound effects may have been for some individuals and small business owners.

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"I'm mad. I'm mad and I don't know if I could keep my temper," says Sharon Born, who runs a daycare center.

Sharon had worried for 13 days about whether she'll have her monthly state subsidy to keep her business running.

"We're Minnesota. This is Minnesota. We don't turn our backs on our kids. And I'm scared to death of what's happening," Sharon says.

Angela Noble is scared too. She sends her two sons to Sharon every day, and has worried about what she'll do without the help. She's in training for a promising job, and without day care her career path could run off the road.

"This is my chance here that I finally got in. It's in jeopardy right now if I don't have somewhere to take my boys," Angela says.

Because day care had been ruled an non-essential service, Sharon was threatened with losing her funding. It's all part of the chaotic mess Minnesota's shutdown has created.

It's all due to the stalemate between Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled legislature.

"The extreme right wing is very intractable and the old notion that you work out a compromise and you share power responsibly is just out the window," Dayton says.

To close the state's $5 billion budget deficit, the governor has agreed to big spending cuts, but his plan to also raise taxes on the rich has met stiff opposition, led by House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

"Once they get done taxing the rich people, where are they gonna come? And it's right here - the middle class of Minnesota, middle class Americans - because there's more of us in that group than there is in the bigger bracket," Zellers says.

Late Wednesday, a judge ruled that day care is an essential service after all and ordered that funding should go ahead, in another sign that Minnesota is sort of making it up as it goes along.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.