MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Legislature has a date in court next week against Gov. Mark Dayton.
The unprecedented lawsuit is scheduled for a hearing next Monday in Ramsey County District Court, what could be a lengthy and expensive budget battle.
The GOP sued Dayton after he vetoed every dollar to run the legislature. He accused Republicans of treachery, and deceiving him into signing a tax cut bill.
“We’re actually at the most extreme right now in terms of dysfunctional state governments,” said Hamline University Political Science Professor David Schultz.
He says state government dysfunction is getting normalized, but we’re not quite like Texas, where one lawmaker threatened to shoot another one.
Or New Mexico, whose Republican governor also vetoed all funding for the Democratic legislature.
Minnesota is in a league of its own: a 20-day shutdown in 2011; a 2005 partial shutdown; a 2001 shutdown averted — and now a 2017 lawsuit.
“The taxpayers ought to realize the fact that they’re paying for all this litigation,” Schultz said.
Republican leaders hired legal powerhouse Doug Kelley, who is charging $325 an hour, which is half his normal rate.
Dayton hired former Supreme Court Justice Sam Hanson, who is taking a 25-percent pay cut — charging $506 an hour.
It could be an expensive legal fight, and taxpayers will foot the bill.
“We’re looking at people who are supposed to respect the norms actually violating the constitutional norms,” Schultz said. “And now we’re asking taxpayers to subsidize their private fights.”