Minnesota Shutdown Stirs Debate over Who Gets Paid

By PATRICK CONDON | July 11, 2011 | 3:44 PM EDT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — While thousands of Minnesota employees go without paychecks because the state government is shut down, many lawmakers are still being paid.

And the list of workers whose services are deemed "essential" includes the governor's housekeeper and his personal chef.

The shutdown entered its second full week Monday, with no end in sight. Politicians and public employees traded accusations over who's getting paid, who isn't and why.

The political leaders whose budget dispute caused the shutdown are still entitled to collect their pay, and more than half of them are. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican Senate majority leader have both declined their checks, as have some rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties.

But many others are still collecting checks, including the Republican House speaker.