Under Dayton’s thumb

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Thursday on the issue of whether the governor of the state can use the line-item veto power given to him by the state constitution to wipe out the operating funds for the Legislature.

We can’t believe that this is what the framers of the state constitution had in mind when they included the line-item veto. But that is what the Supreme Court has said, that the governor can cut off funding for the Legislature when they don’t do what he wants.

So much for checks and balances in state government. We now live in a state where the governor holds the upper hand over the Legislature.

The governor had the brass Thursday to issue a statement following the ruling, saying “… it is time for us all to agree that this dispute has been concluded and resume working together for the best interests of Minnesota.”

“Working together” implies that the Legislature and the governor are equal partners in the affairs of state, but that just isn’t so anymore.

We suspect that the Legislature, instead of looking to work together, will instead be looking for ways to counteract this sudden shift in power, perhaps by refusing to pass legislation funding the state adminstration.

Dayton’s line item veto was a power play intended to bend the Legislature to his will. The Supreme Court’s ruling leaves the Legislature, unfortunately, under his thumb.