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The Latest: GOP says ready for mediation with Dayton

September 08, 2017 - 3:14 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Latest on the Minnesota Supreme Court backing Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of the Legislature's funding and ordering mediation of the dispute (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Top Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature say they're ready to go to mediation with Gov. Mark Dayton in a dispute over their funding.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Friday that Dayton acted constitutionally when he vetoed the funding. Dayton was seeking to pressure Republicans to rework legislation. But the high court said the dispute should be settled outside the courts.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka say they don't dispute Dayton's line-item veto authority.

But in a joint statement, they seized on a passage in the Supreme Court order that said constitutional powers can't be used to accomplish an unconstitutional result.

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3:50 p.m.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he's pleased by a Minnesota Supreme Court order that backed his veto of the Legislature's funding.

Dayton also praised the court's order that the two sides go into mediation, saying he asked for just that when he made the veto.

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

While the Supreme Court said Dayton's veto was constitutional, the justices made it clear they felt the dispute should be resolved through a political process rather than a legal one. They wrote that to do otherwise would imperil the state's system of three separate branches of government.

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3:06 p.m.

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

The ruling Friday is counter to a lower-court ruling this summer that Dayton had acted unconstitutionally, but is not the last word in the case. The high court ordered the two sides to hire a mediator, by Tuesday, to resolve the dispute outside the courts.

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 favour. He had appointed four of the six justices presiding in the case.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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