The government of Minnesota has shut down for the July 4 weekend as Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers couldn't come to an agreement on Friday despite weeks of talks.

Now, non-essential government services are shutdown on a weekend that arguably needs some of these services the most.

Campers and hikers have already been herded out of the shutdown state parks (66 of them) and campgrounds.  Many highway rest stops are also closed.

Even the Minnesota Zoo has been closed, although a small staff stayed behind to take care of the animals.

Meanwhile, if you want to take a driving test, redeem your winning state lottery ticket, or listen to the public radio reading program for the blind, you're out of luck in Minnesota.

Furthermore, 23,000 non-essential state employees will stop receiving their paychecks.

Dayton said he and the Republican's plans for the two-year budget differed by $1.4 billion.  Moreover, the methods to reducing the budget deficit diverged.  Dayton wanted to raise taxes on the rich while the Republicans wanted to cut spending on welfare and health care.

Also, Dayton opposed the Republican demands to put restrictions on abortions and stem cell research and require voters to present photo IDs at polls.

Below are photos of the Minnesota shutdown on the July 4 weekend.