Supreme Court backs Dayton veto of Legislature budget - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Supreme Court backs Dayton veto of Legislature budget

St. Paul, Minn. (AP) -

The Minnesota Supreme Court says Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of the Legislature's budget was constitutional.

The ruling Friday is a legal win for the Democratic governor and a major blow for the Legislature. It overturns a lower court's ruling that Dayton's action was unconstitutional. The high court has ordered the two sides to hire a mediator by Tuesday.

The months-long legal battle arose this spring when Dayton line-item vetoed lawmakers' $130 million operating budget. Dayton says he wanted to force lawmakers to rework costly tax breaks and other measures he signed into law, but the Legislature instead sued.

The state's highest court was tilted firmly in Dayton's favor. He had appointed four of the six justices presiding in the case.

Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement, in response to the order issued today by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

“I am very pleased that my Constitutional right to line-item veto certain appropriations for the Minnesota House and Senate, for FY 18 & 19, was upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. I am also pleased that the Supreme Court ordered the Legislature and myself to ‘participate in good-faith efforts to resolve this dispute through mediation.’ I proposed just such a remedy, when I issued my veto letter on May 30, 2017. Instead, the Legislative Leaders chose to try to avoid this negotiated solution through litigation.

“I remain ready and very willing to engage in those negotiations immediately.  I have asked my legal team to contact their legislative counterparts to begin to resolve this matter.”

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