The Ramsey County Court in no uncertain terms rejected Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s line item veto of the legislature’s funding in late May. The governor’s veto followed a contentious special session.
“As a result of violating the Separation of Powers clause of the Minnesota Constitution, the governor’s line-item vetoes are unconstitutional, null and void,” Ramsey County Chief Judge John Guthman concluded last week.
This is also because Dayton didn’t object to the Legislature’s funding in itself, for cost containment. In his veto message, the Governor made it clear that the intention was “force the legislature to repeal policy measures…unrelated to the vetoed appropriations.”
“The court’s ruling is by no means intended to prevent governors from issuing a line-item veto of the Legislature’s appropriation if they actually object to the manner in which the Legislature funded itself,” Guthmann wrote. “No such concern exists in this case because the governor concedes his vetoes had nothing to do with the Legislature’s appropriation.”
Governor Dayton announced he will appeal the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can take up the appeal and make a ruling or allow the District Court order to stand.