By Jonathan Avise
House Speaker Kurt Daudt speaks with the media Wednesday after a Ramsey County district court judge ruled in favor of the Legislature in their suit over Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of House and Senate funding. Photo by Paul Battaglia
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution, a victory for House and Senate leaders who had filed suit in an effort to have the maneuver overturned.
Dayton, a DFLer, had eliminated funding for the House and Senate from a state government finance bill in an effort to bring leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature back to the negotiating table over provisions included in other budget bills the governor had signed into law.
Ramsey County Court Chief Judge John Guthmann wrote in his judgment that Dayton “improperly used his line-item veto authority to gain a repeal or modification of unrelated policy legislation by effectively eliminating a co-equal branch of government.”
That, the judge wrote, “offended the Separation of Powers clause of the Minnesota Constitution.”