In wake of judge’s ruling, Catholic Charities remains “deeply concerned” about looming shutdown’s effects

| June 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

While a Ramsey County judge ruled June 29 that some services that help the poor and vulnerable are “critical” and would continue to be funded during a state government shutdown, other funding — including child care assistance — would stop.

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement June 29 that it “remains deeply concerned about the impact of any shutdown and elimination of any services to the most vulnerable in our state.”

“While we are relieved to see that General Assistance, Medicaid and Group Residential Housing were deemed essential, there are countless other programs — including child care subsidies — that are also essential,” the agency said.

“Without those programs, more people will find themselves at risk because they cannot afford child care and therefore cannot go to work. Sadly, more families will find themselves choosing between food and keeping the electricity on,” it added.

If a budget impasse between the Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton isn’t solved by July 1, the state faces a shutdown of many services.

State lawmakers and Dayton have so far been unable to agree on how to remedy a $5 billion state budget deficit. Republicans want to limit state expenditures to a forecasted $34 billion in revenues, while Dayton wants to raise an extra $1.8 billion by increasing income taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of earners.

“We continue to work on possible contingency plans for a government shutdown and advocate for funding for services to those most in need not only for today and in a shutdown but in any budget compromise,” Catholic Charities said. “The core issue isn’t the shutdown. The core issues are creating a budget sufficient to need and ensuring the role of government in caring for its most vulnerable citizens.”

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