Talking Points: The Battle Over Legislative Funding

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A ruling from a Ramsey County judge is expected soon in the bitter legal dispute between the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton.

The lawsuit was triggered when the governor used his line item veto to strip the Legislature of all of its funding for the next two years.

The legal dispute is playing out amidst claims of treachery and an unconstitutional power grab.

The governor said used the veto because of what he calls “a poison pill” that the Republican-led Legislature snuck into a bill stripping funding for the Department of Revenue if he didn’t sign the tax bill.

Dayton says if the Legislature wants its funding back, it will have to agree to changes in the tax bill and some additional measures.

Meanwhile, the Legislature insists the governor’s veto is unconstitutional because it strips away the funding it needs to operate.

After a heated hearing last week, Ramsey County Chief Judge John Guthmann agreed to temporarily fund the Legislature until Oct. 1 while the legal battle plays out.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“We think [the judge] showed his hand, the Legislature is…a coequal branch of government, a constitutional branch of government, and the governor can’t simply eliminate us if he doesn’t want to talk to us.”

Guthmann did not say exactly when he will rule. Whichever side loses is expected to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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