The governor can't just veto House and Senate funding like that, judge rules

Republicans are happy about the judge's decision.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

When Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed funding for the Minnesota House and Senate, he violated the state Constitution, a judge ruled.

Dayton used a line item veto (that's when the governor vetoes small pieces of a bill instead of the whole thing) the part of a bill that would provided funding for the House and Senate for the next two years.

He did it as a way to get Republican lawmakers back to the table to renegotiate things he didn't like in other bills – like the size of some tax cuts – that he'd already allowed to become law, Session Daily explained. The reason for the line item veto had nothing to do with funding for the Legislature.

So the Republican-controlled House and Senate sued him. They argued Dayton violated the Separation of Powers clause in the Minnesota Constitution.

And Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann agreed.

Wednesday's ruling

The judge ruled in favor of the House and Senate on Wednesday. In his order, Guthmann said Dayton's vetoes "effectively abolished the Legislature," which just isn't allowed.

"Dayton improperly used his line-item veto authority to gain a repeal or modification of unrelated policy legislation by effectively eliminating a co-equal branch of government," Guthmann wrote.

Because Dayton's vetoes were unconstitutional, funding for Legislature did become law with the rest of the bill, MPR News notes.

You can read the entire 22-page order here.

Dayton will appeal

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Dayton said he plans to appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"It is unfortunate that Republican legislative leaders are using this ruling to avoid completing their work by correcting their serious errors in the last legislative session. From the beginning of my administration, I have worked hard to restore sound fiscal integrity to our state government. My line-item veto was targeted to achieve this result," Dayton said.

Republicans react

After the ruling was released, Republican leaders cheered the judge's decision, and urged Dayton to accept the ruling.

“Today the court ruled an entire branch of government cannot be eliminated by a stroke of the governor’s pen. The governor should accept this verdict and allow the people of Minnesota to move on, instead of continuing to waste taxpayer dollars on expensive litigation," Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a statement.

And here's House Speaker Kurt Daudt:

https://twitter.com/kdaudt/status/887717129692356610

Next Up

ballot voting vote

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

Donald Trump

Confusion over where Trump campaign rally will be held Friday

It sounds like it'll be held at the airport in Rochester.

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 3.19.05 PM

This video of the Lowry Hill Tunnel walls being cleaned is oddly satisfying

The tunnel will be closed overnight Thursday for cleaning.

gray wolf

Gray wolf removed from the endangered species list

A decision on whether they can be hunted in Minnesota will come later.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

pete stauber - qunn nystrom CD8

Election 2020 preview: Minnesota's 8th Congressional District

It's a race between incumbent Rep. Pete Stauber and Democratic challenger Quinn Nystrom.

fire, flames

Lives saved as passerby, city workers rescue from 3 from Golden Valley fire

The Golden Valley Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday morning.

Caribou Coffee Holiday 2020

Caribou Coffee rolls out holiday cups, menu early

The holiday season is underway at some Twin Cities stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for Nov. 5.

Malik Beasley

Charges: Timberwolves' Beasley pointed assault rifle at family on a home tour

The family was on the Parade of Homes tour when Beasley allegedly pointed the gun at them, telling them to get off his property.

Related

The governor will let budget bills become law – but the drama isn't over

Dayton is accusing Republican lawmakers of sneaking in a 'poison pill' – and is taking action to force them back to the table.

The governor just noped 5 big budget bills

We explain what it means in the big picture, and why it matters.

Dayton: I'll veto bill stopping cities setting own minimum wage, sick leave rules

The only way it could pass is if the Republicans make some serious budget concessions.

The Senate passed a Sunday liquor sales bill

This is the closest Minnesota has come to having Sunday liquor sales. But there's still work that needs to be done before it's official

The Senate passed a revised Real ID bill – here's what needs to happen next

We might not need a passport to fly domestically next year!

House and Senate vote to use reserve fund to pay state debt to schools

Both the House and Senate approved Republican-backed bills to pay off Minnesota's debt to its schools by drawing down the reserve fund. But Governor Dayton is not a fan of the idea. Dayton and other DFLers think it would leave the reserve fund too depleted.

Gov. Dayton and Republican leaders make no progress on their budget veto fight

They spent more than a day in mediation, but got nowhere on the veto battle.