At Issue: June 4 - Showdown Looms Between Governor, Republican Legislative Leaders

June 09, 2017 01:32 PM

Republicans Take First Steps to Challenge Governor Dayton in Court

Republicans in the House and Senate have taken their first steps to challenge Governor Mark Dayton in court.


This comes after a bizarre chain of events that had the governor veto funding for the legislature for the next four years. The Legislative Coordinating Commission met Friday to consider hiring outside legal counsel in response to Governor Dayton's decision to defund House and Senate operations.

The commission is made up of a dozen lawmakers - a majority of them Republicans since the party controls the House and Senate. 

Governor Dayton says he made the decision to line-item veto legislative funding because he was upset by provisions in both the tax bill and state government finance bill that essentially forced him to sign the tax bill. Because of the provision put in by Republicans, if the governor vetoed the tax bill, he would've also eliminated funding for the Department of Revenue, which his administration oversees.

The governor still signed the rest of the budget bills into law, avoiding a government shutdown. But now, the line-item veto of the legislature's funding is likely to result in a major constitutional battle.

Governor Dayton Vetoes Preemption Bill, but are Other Provisions in Jeopardy?

Governor Dayton's veto of the preemption bill has put the legality of some other provisions into question. By vetoing the premption bill, cities still have control to set labor laws, such as minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances, above state mandates. This means sick & safe time ordinances passed by the city councils in Minneapolis and St. Paul will take effect July 1.

Republicans tied a couple provisions Governor Dayton favored to the preemption bill, but the governor says his veto will not impact them.

One is a paid parental leave provision for state employees. The Office of Management and Budget has instructed the state to keep offering up to six weeks of paid parental leave for new parents, saying the provision was tied to ratification of a memorandum of understanding linked to state worker contracts.

Republicans argue the law is being misinterpreted and the paid parental leave provision is no longer valid. Expect this battle to also head to a courtroom in the coming weeks.


Amanda Theisen

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