Considering the fact that Gov. Dayton’s plan was to maximize the hurt on Minnesota, Judge Gearin’s ruling dramatically limits his ability in that respect. In that respect, Mitch’s post is 100% correct:

Mark Dayton’s attempt to push all the pain of this shutdown onto this state’s most vulnerable residents, which we’ve been documenting for weeks, although the mainstream media can’t seem to be bothered, has been rebuffed for now.

For me, Finding of Fact # 39 sums things up pretty nicely:

The Court agrees with the position of the League of Minnesota Cities, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and the City of St. Paul regarding Local Government Aid legislation. These funds have already been lawfully appropriated and should be paid on schedule. This is also true regarding previously lawfully appropriated payments to school districts.

I’m not arguing that LGA is a policy worth keeping. I’m simply arguing that money already lawfully appropriated should continue to be paid according to the schedule agreed upon by the legislature and governor.

The reason why 39 is important is because it says Gov. Dayton can’t hold school districts hostage. Imagine the PR mileage he would’ve gotten from filming boarded up schools and children not being able to stay on course for graduation.

That PR weapon was effectively removed from Gov. Dayton’s hands.

At last night’s townhall meeting, a number of people spoke out of fear that a shutdown would leave them paying for their own medications and their health care. The Dayton administration worked hard to build that fear in their attempt to pressure Republicans into accepting a major tax increase.

Now that that’s eliminated as a weapon, it’s reasonable to think that alot of the pain Gov. Dayton was hoping to inflict on people has subsided. In fact, I’m betting alot of nonprofits that rely on federal funding passing through the general fund account breathed a huge sigh of relief after hearing Judge Gearin’s ruling.

There’s still alot of work to be done in resolving the budget issue. Still, this is a victory for Republicans because Judge Gearin took the PR tools out of Gov. Dayton’s hands.

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