ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Republicans in the Minnesota state Legislature submitted its legal briefs today for the lawsuit against Governor Mark Dayton, with a hearing scheduled at the Ramsey County Courthouse Monday.
The briefs claim Dayton violated the Minnesota state Constitution's Separation of Powers Clause by line-item vetoing funding for the legislature over the next two years, effectively stripping the legislative branch of its powers.
Dayton, for his part, says there is nothing under current law restricting his blanket line-item powers over appropriations measures.
Dual affidavits from House Financial Officer Jim Reinholdz and Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman outline the reasoning behind their request for a court injunction to maintain funding--with Senate reserves officially running out by July 27 and House reserves exhausted by Aug. 31. All operations in both houses would cease the next day, based on their estimates. The Minnesota Senate would also be unable to pay for its space in the state capitol starting in July.
Standard & Poor's Global Ratings agency already put the state on "credit watch with negative implications" after Dayton announced his vetoes, and threatened to downgrade the state's credit rating if its legislature ceased functioning.
Plans for a potential legislative shut down were also released, with staff put on furlough and the remaining reserves going toward unemployment insurance and healthcare coverage for employees.