Governor Tim Walz is cautious about laying off or furloughing state employees, despite Minnesota’s 2.4-billion-dollar budget deficit:

“If you laid off every single worker we had — which meant there’s nobody at the Health Department, there’s nobody at M-M-B (state budget office), there’s nobody in the schools, there’s nobody plowing the roads — you’d save about seven percent of the budget.”

Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says it’s not the right time for a state employee pay raise to take effect July 1st, and those contracts should be re-negotiated:

“My hope, frankly, is that we allow the pay raise that was there last July, and a freeze going forward.”

Gazelka says if the legislature does *not* approve the new contract, state employees’ pay would revert to what it was before July 1st of last year — basically a pay cut.