Minnesota Supreme Court rules Dayton’s veto of legislative funding constitutional

The high court ordered Dayton and legislative leaders into mediation to resolve the dispute.

by Michael Achterling

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the state Legislature’s budget.

In an order issued Friday, the court ordered Dayton and legislative leaders back into mediation to resolve the dispute. In May, Dayton vetoed the Legislature’s biennial operating budget in an attempt to pressure lawmakers to reconvene and renegotiate certain tax bill provisions.

The order gives the legislative and executive branches an opportunity to resolve their grievances without the high court rendering an official decision.

According to the order, both parties must enter into “good faith efforts” to resolve their dispute. If both parties can’t agree to a mediator, the court will appoint one on their behalf.

The executive and legislative branches must also issue an informal memorandum by Sept. 15 addressing the constitutionality of a judiciary giving temporary legislative funding. A Ramsey County District Court judge ordered temporary funding for the Legislature in June.

The temporary funding is set to expire Oct. 1. 

Both parties must file a joint statement with the Supreme Court on the status of their negotiations by Sept. 30. If the matter still isn’t resolved, the two sides must provide a deadline for when negotiations will conclude.