Lawyers for the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton took turns Monday morning trying to convince the Minnesota Supreme Court to decide a constitutional battle in their favor.
A lower court ruled that Dayton’s line-item veto of the legislature’s funding was unconstitutional. Lawyers for the legislature argue that the veto essentially abolishes the legislature. Dayton says that is not the case since because the Senate and House “have access to funding for their critical, core functions by petition to the district court.”
Dayton, a Democrat, vetoed the funding to force the Republican-controlled legislature back to the bargaining table on a number of issues — including some large tax cuts.
Governor Dayton attended the arguments.
The 9 a.m. hearing was live streamed here on The UpTake.
Watch the video, read the court briefs, hear the reaction
Dayton made a brief statement after the hearing and said the core question the court needs to consider is his veto constitutional. “And I believe it clearly is.”
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) and House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin also answered questions after the hearing. Asked about why the “poison pill” language was put in the tax bill that would have defunded the Department of Revenue, Peppin pointed to last year when Dayton vetoed the tax bill. They wanted to prevent that this year. “And after we put the language in it was very clear he intended not to sign the tax bill.”
Legislature’s brief filed with the court
Dayton’s reply brief filed with the court