Our state’s governor, Tina Flint Smith (acting through her front, Mark Dayton) line-item-vetoed the funding for the state’s legislature out of existence.
From Blois Olson’s “Morning Take” yesterday:
[Tuesday’s] move by Gov. Mark Dayton to line-item veto the appropriations for the legislature creates a new dynamic that lawyers, legislators, lobbyists and media will try to unwind in the coming days.
And where do we go from here?
There are basically three scenarios. First, legislators and Dayton find some wiggle room and there’s a short special session to tweak teacher licensure, immigration driver’s licenses and tobacco taxes.
I’m gonna guess this is what Lori Sturdevant wants.
Second, GOP majorities go to court, challenge the Governor’s attempt to defund the Legislature.
I suspect this is what the DFL wants. DFLers like Tina Liebling are already leading the media toward where I predicted they’d be by July 1 – blaming this on the GOP:
Should have used his veto pen. Gave in to hostage-takers instead. Paid the ransom & there’s no refund. https://t.co/dYwlVJVh0D
— Tina Liebling (@TinaLiebling) May 31, 2017
Third, there’s a push from the right on the GOP caucuses to call Dayton on his bluff and declare they won’t meet in 2018 – making Dayton potentially a very lame duck for the last year of his term. That would mean no supplemental budget, no bonding bill and no campaign year gamesmanship – for either side during the session.
On the one hand, the DFL’s noise machine would explode into full deranged mode.
On the other, they’d do the same if a Republican helped a kid across the street. There is literally nothing to lose.
But wait! There’s more!
Republicans are analyzing the line-item veto to see if Dayton did it correctly or if he only took away the specific appropriation to the House and the Senate. If he didn’t veto the entire pool of money, the funds are still in State Government bueget and it would be easy for GOPers to make the case that the money exists. The longer the issue plays out – the advantage is to Republicans. However, should the state have a natural disaster, or an economic issue Dayton would have the executive leadership power to take charge.
I have a hunch we’ll see a proposal to declare Tina Liebling a natural disaster, to allow the Governor to take control.