ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Gov. Mark Dayton and the leadership from the Minnesota Legislature announced Tuesday they have hired a retired Hennepin County judge to mediate their ongoing legal dispute.
State lawmakers have been at odds with the governor since the close of the legislative session in May. Dayton used his line-item veto authority to cancel the funding for the Minnesota House and Senate as leverage to call them back into a special session to rescind a tax cut on some tobacco products and several other issues he wanted them to resolve.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka sued the governor in Ramsey County Court on the grounds the line-item veto of legislative funds violated the separation of powers clause in the constitution.
On Friday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the line-item veto was constitutional, but said the two branches of government should resolve their differences through the political process. The court ordered the two parties to hire a mediator to resolve their months-long dispute.
"My goal is to have this end quickly and go into special session," Dayton said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Dayton and the Legislature have until Sept. 30 to notify the court on their progress in mediation.