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Governor Talks Shutdown In Paynesville
By Tim Post , Minnesota Public Radio
Juen 15, 2001

Gov. Jesse Ventura took his weekly radio show to a dairy farm in central Minnesota on Friday. Ventura was there to raise awareness of National Dairy week, but he also spent time warning the crowd of farmers about the potential state government shutdown.

VENTURA CAME TO DUANE AND IRENE BURG'S DAIRY FARM near Paynesville to talk about what is on most dairy farmers mind, the dairy pricing system and low milk prices. But the governor spent plenty of time talking about the looming possibility of a state government shutdown. Ventura says if lawmakers don't come up with a budget agreement by Monday, he'll give them, well...a speech.

"I'm going to meet with them, maybe both houses, maybe it's time I do it with both houses, and I'm going to say something, and I'm very serious about this now, each and everyone of us that got elected to public office, whether it be governor, lieutenant governor, state rep or state senator," Ventura said during his weekly radio show. "You take an oath, you raise your hand in the air and you take an oath, that you will run the Minnesota government. You do not take an oath that says you will shutdown Minnesota government for a political purpose."

The governor said it's time for legislators to set aside political differences and come up with a budget agreement that he can sign. Ventura says he's afraid a state shutdown would harm the economy. He also said a shutdown would put the state in "uncharted waters", where he's uncertain of his powers.

"We are not sure at this point what my powers will be, we are not fully sure, without a court order, it could end up," he said. "Then we're not even sure on that whether it's federal court or state court that makes the call, that is yet to be determined, on what powers will be granted to me to attempt to keep government running at a certain level."

The crowd at the governor's broadcast was mostly farmers, interested primarily in the farm issues but ready to weigh in with mixed opinions on the shutdown.