By Jonathan Mohr
Lawyers for Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met in a Ramsey County court Monday to argue the merits of a lawsuit over the governor’s May line-item veto of money meant fund the House and Senate for the next two years.
Appearing before Chief Judge John H. Guthmann, each side made its case – the plaintiffs alleging Dayton’s veto violated the Separation of Powers clause of the state’s constitution and the governor’s attorney, Sam Hanson, arguing the veto authority was used correctly.
Lawmakers have said the Senate would be forced to cease operations July 28 – and the House Sept. 1 – if the $128 million appropriation to fund the Legislature during the next fiscal biennium, which begins July 1, is not restored.
However, both parties filed a document with the court last Friday asking the judge to grant a temporary injunction that would allow legislative funding to continue until Oct. 1, or the lawsuit is settled.