Lewis House in Hastings to Reopen

Domestic abuse shelter clients stayed in Eagan while the Hastings location closed because of the state government shutdown.

Homecoming will be sweet for the clients of the Lewis House in Hastings, a shelter forced to close due to the state shutdown.

Mary Ajax, president of Burnsville-based 360 Communities, expressed relief Friday. She said 360's Lewis House, a domestic abuse shelter, will reopen Monday. People who would have normally been housed in Hastings stayed in Eagan the last couple of weeks.

That was going to happen, anyway, because Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin on Thursday partially approved funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services, Ajax said. But news of the possibility the shutdown will end soon also helped.

"Oh, there’s a huge sense of relief today... and that we can move forward," Ajax said.

Eleven of its 15 employees had been temporarily laid off, she said, and now they are coming back to work.

"I just can’t wait til this is done," she said.

Appearing on Minnesota Public Radio on Friday afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton said he is willing to call a special session Monday morning but first needs to read all nine of the unsigned legislative bills.

The governor gave his negotiators a deadline of 10 p.m. Friday to have the deals in place.

While Dayton has said he’s happy with the budget deal announced Thursday, he understands that not all Democrats share his zeal.

“It may be there are some (bills) they find they can support,” Dayton said, referring to the K12 education bill. “(And) there will be bills that have bipartisan support. The tax bill, I wouldn’t vote for, either.”

While he is expecting resistance, Dayton was confident that the “rough edges and details” would not be enough to derail negotiations or extend the shutdown.

Dayton also said he hopes to be able to provide back pay to the 22,000 state workers laid off on July 1. But he did not confirm whether this would happen for sure.

The governor is scheduled to appear on Almanac on Twin Cities public television at 7 p.m.

Read full coverage of the local impact of the state government shutdown here. Share your shutdown photos or stories with Burnsville Editor Clare Kennedy. Keep up with shutdown developments on our Burnsville Facebook Page.


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