July 6, 2011: From the desk of SHADAC Director Lynn Blewett
Minnesota’s Republican-led Legislature and Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Governor Mark Dayton are still at an impasse, unable to come up with $1 billion to finance the state’s biennial budget. We are now in the sixth day of the government shutdown, and no one appears to be budging.
The University of Minnesota’s operations have not been affected by the shutdown – at least not yet. About 18 percent of the University’s budget is covered by the state, but the University says it has enough reserve funding to ride out the state shutdown for the short term.
How does this affect SHADAC? Our staff and facilities are still going full-strength. However, the shutdown has not been without repercussions here: SHADAC Investigator and University of Minnesota Associate Professor Kathleen Call collaborates with the Minnesota Department of Health using a grant from the State general fund to conduct the biannual Minnesota Health Access Survey. With the government in shutdown mode, this work has ground to a halt and cannot resume until the state is back online. This means that the state survey will be late, and while this is not a huge deal in the short term, we don’t want to delay for a long period of time if this survey is to serve as the baseline for monitoring the impact of national health reform on state-level coverage and access.
In the meantime, a search for Minnesota Health Access Survey is indicative of the far-reaching impact of the shutdown:
You have reached an application that is out of service.
Due to the State shutdown, many applications will be unavailable.
We apologize for the disruption and hope to be back soon.