Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he remains hopeful his dispute with Republican legislative leaders over funding for the House and Senate can be solved at the negotiating table, rather than the courtroom.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said last week they plan to sue the governor in order to restore legislative funding for the 2018-19 biennium that Dayton line-item vetoed from a state government finance bill May 30.
The governor said he has not yet engaged in “substantive legal discussions” regarding a potential legislative lawsuit, nor considered the potential ramifications on future governors and legislatures should such a legal case come forward.
“I’d like to see this resolved through negotiations,” Dayton said during a morning news conference at the Capitol.
A meeting with House and Senate leaders is tentatively scheduled for next week, he said.
Daudt and Gazelka have charged that the governor acted unconstitutionally in defunding the House and Senate, while Dayton has asserted the veto was within his rights.
The governor has said he will call a special session of the Legislature to restore the funds if lawmakers agree to amend portions of the tax and budget bills he signed into law late last month.
The items Dayton wants changed are:
Daudt has expressed an unwillingness to renegotiate bills that the governor has already signed.
“(Dayton) had his constitutional right to veto those bills if he did not like the language in them,” he said during a June 2 Legislative Coordinating Commission hearing. “He did not. He signed them.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
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