Senate petitions court to join shutdown lawsuit, while courts sue to stay open

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GOP members of a Senate panel have passed a resolution authorizing the entire body to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Gov. Mark Dayton to keep essential services running in the case of a government shutdown. Today, the courts filed their own petition begging legislators and the governor to keep the courts open.

How the heck is this nightmare going to get resolved? It's really getting crazy here in Minnesota.

Yesterday's resolution, which passed on a 6-3 party line vote, comes after petitions earlier this week from both Attorney General Lori Swanson and the governor. Sen. Majority Leader Amy Koch said that the petition allows the state legislature a voice at the table. Sen. Minority Leader Tom Bakk said he could not support it, because it didn't outline a position on the lawsuit.

So far, a government shutdown is looking increasingly likely. Last week, Dayton told a gathering of journalists that he was not optimistic that a shutdown would be avoided. And government workers are preparing for the worst: sending out letters to let people know how they'll be affected if the statehouse lights go dark.

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