Dayton signs budget bills into law, but showdown with lawmakers continuesBy Jonathan Avise
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday he would sign into law nine budget bills that make up the state’s $46 billion, two-year budget, and would allow a $650 million tax bill to become law without his signature.
But Dayton also line-item vetoed funding for the Minnesota House and Senate, an attempt, he said, to bring leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature back to the table to remove a handful of provisions in the tax bill and education and public safety budget bills that he does not want to become law.
Dayton said during an evening news conference he had strong disagreements with portions of each of the budget bills to which he put his signature. But, reading from a letter he sent to House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), the governor explained he was seeking to avoid “a bitter June showdown” and potential state shutdown.
"If I was to veto them I would put the entire state government on the brink of a shutdown," he said.
The governor’s line-item veto may force legislative leaders to strike another deal with Dayton for a summer special session if they want to restore House and Senate funding before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
Dayton, as expected, vetoed an omnibus jobs bill that included language that would prevent cities from passing their own employment standards on private employers. The bill also included items the governor wanted, like paid parental leave for state employees and the ratification of public sector union contracts.
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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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