This morning, the Minnesota State Supreme Court again upheld Governor Dayton’s line-item veto of the legislature’s operating funds. While not definitively ruling on the constitutionality of the action, the court objected to being put in a position to possibly appropriate state funds. The court declined to rule if the Governor was acting in a coercive way in a 5-1 decision, with Justice David Stras abstaining.
The court concluded it does not have the authority to authorize funding of the legislature in the absence of an appropriation. The legislature has access to funding through the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC), and has taken action to secure those funds until the legislature reconvenes on February 20, 2018.
The LCC adopted a resolution to transfer funds from the carryforward, as well as the fiscal year 2019 general fund appropriations, to cover the House and Senate's operating budgets into 2018. The resolution also specifies that none of the funds may go toward bond payments for the Minnesota Senate Building.