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Posted by Sharon Anderson on Monday, February 10, 2014

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Politics with Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

Courts deluged with shutdown cases

In the tricky world of government shutdown, Minnesota courts are being pulled into a big political, legal and constitutional mess. While both sides in the budget impasse have busily engaged in recrimination -- and occasional negotiation -- they also have brought their problems to the courts to settle what should or shouldn't happen if there's a shutdown. The result is a rousing battle over separation of powers.

Don Davis EchoPress_ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state government is focused on a Thursday court hearing about what could remain open during a government shutdown.

No high-level budget talks have convened for six days as top policymakers remain in a deadlock over a new two-year budget, but the governor and legislative leaders plan an afternoon meeting today.

Short of a last-minute surprise or the governor and lawmakers agreeing to temporarily continue some form of the current budget, at least a partial government shutdown will begin on July 1.

The courts likely will decide, among hundreds of other issues, if state troopers patrol the roads, if local governments receive state aid, if nursing homes are paid and if the Minnesota Sex Offender Program operates. When and how those decisions will be made is up to Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin of Ramsey County District Court, who will convene a Thursday hearing.

That hearing could be crowded as groups keep requesting to be part of the shutdown court case.

On Tuesday, the House Rules Committee voted to be part of the case.

The committee approved, on a divided vote, a resolution allowing Republican leadership to hire former state Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to represent the House.

“Our interest is very narrow and limited in scope,” House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, said.

Magnuson’s job is to make sure the courts do nothing to prevent the House from operating and to oppose Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal for the court to order a mediator get involved in the budget impasse.

A House Republican caucus spokeswoman said Magnuson and the House still are negotiating terms of an agreement, so it is not known how much he will cost the state.

Magnuson’s pay will come from $4 million the House has in the bank, money that will not take a court’s approval to be spent.

The equivalent Senate panel passed a similar resolution last week.

Most departments would be out of money July 1 without a budget, so Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson last week asked the courts to allow the state to spend money even though the current budget expires June 30.

Dayton presented a detailed list of what he wants to stay open in a shutdown, and would keep more than a third of the executive branch’s 38,500 employees on the payroll.

The shutdown is likely because Republicans who control the Legislature and Dayton have not agreed on a budget for the two years beginning July 1. Republicans say they will spend no more than $34 billion, while Dayton wants a $35.8 billion target. Besides disagreeing on how much to spend, they also disagree on how the money should be spent.

The courts asked to be funded during a shutdown and a Monday hearing has been set by retired judge Bruce Christopherson of Yellow Medicine County to consider the request.

However, four Republican senators told the courts that judges have no authority to allow any state spending.

Sens. Scott Newman of Hutchinson, Sean Nienow of Cambridge, Warren Limmer of Maple Grove and Roger Chamberlain of Shoreview asked the courts to order Dayton to call a special legislative session so lawmakers can pass a budget. Other than a bill funding agriculture programs, Dayton vetoed the Republican-written budget bills passed in the regular legislative session that ended nearly a month ago and no progress has been made on new budget plans.

The Supreme Court gave the senators and attorney general until 11 a.m. today to file more documents, with Justice Allan Page saying the case will be expedited.

Organizations of health-care providers have asked courts to keep their funding flowing and on Tuesday Ramsey County joined in supporting Dayton and Swanson’s requests for spending to continue.

Also on Tuesday, the state’s public defenders asked to keep their funding. Other groups are considering getting involved.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system announced that it is rescinding more than 6,000 layoff notices it sent to employees.

MnSCU officials said they are confident classes on their 54 campuses will continue even if much of the rest of state government shuts down. However, a Minnesota Management and Budget spokesman said the issue remains up to the court to decide

http://www.mncourts.gov/district/2/?page=4446

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Motions Regarding MN Government Operations

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Lori Swanson, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Minnesota filed in the Second Judicial District Court the initial documents in the following matter on June 13th, 2011. The title of the case is:

62-CV-11-5203 In Re Temporary Funding of Core Functions of the Executive Branch of the State of Minnesota.
Document Name Date Filed Pages
Motion for Order to Show Cause 6-13-2011 2
Proposed Order to Show Cause 6-13-2011 2
Petition 6-13-2011 88
Petitioner's Memorandum in Support of Motion for Relief 6-13-2011 21
Response of Governor to the Petition 6-15-2011 26
Signed Order to Show Cause 6-15-2011 2
Returned Order to Show Cause and Aff of Mail Service 6-16-2011 32
Affidavit of Service 6-16-2011 2
Motion of MN Assoc of Treatment Programs 6-17-2011 6
Amicus Curiae Memorandum of MN Assoc of Treatment Programs 6-17-2011 14
Notice Other of State Senators 6-20-2011 6
Memorandum of law of Intervening State Senators 6-20-2011 7
Request to file Amicus Curiae Care Providers of MN,INC.etal 6-20-2011 3
Amicus Curiae Memorandum of Care Providers of MN,INC et al 6-20-2011 14
Affidavit of Service Mn Association of Treatment Programs 6-20-2011 2
Notice of Motion and Motion Intervene Assn. Residential Resources et al. 6-20-2011 4
Proposed Order Granting Motion to Intervene Assn. Residential Resources et al. 6-20-2011 1
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Intervene Assn. Residential Resources et al. 6-20-2011 11
Petition in Intervention of Assn. Residential Resources et al. 6-20-2011 8
Memorandum of Intervenors Assn. Residential Resources et al. 6-20-2011 17
Affidavit of Bruce Nelson in Support of Intervenors' Petition 6-20-2011 7
Affidavit of Lynne Megan in Support of Intervenors' Petition 6-20-2011 6
Affidavit of Jerry Mueller in Support of Intervenors' Petition 6-20-2011 5
Affidavit of Service for Assn. Residential Resources et al. filings 6-20-2011 2
Affidavit Of Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt 6-21-2011 2
First Supplemental Response of Governor to Petition 6-21-2011 3
Response of Minnesota State Board of Public Defense 6-21-2011 8
Notice of Motion and Motion of MN Hospital Assn. 6-21-2011 3
Memorandum Of Amicus Curiae MN Hospital Assn. 6-21-2011 9
Notice of Intervention of MN Workforce Council Assn. 6-21-2011 2
Response and Memorandum of Intervenor MN Workforce Council Assn. 6-21-2011 7
Proposed Order for MN Workforce Council Assn. 6-21-2011 1
Affidavit of Service for MN Workforce Council Assn. Filings 6-21-2011 2
Notice of Motion and Motion to Intervene Associated General Contractors of MN 6-21-2011 1
Proposed Order to Intervene for Associated General Contractors of MN 6-21-2011 1
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Intervene Associated General Contractors MN 6-21-2011 14
Affidavit of Service for Associated General Contractor Filings 6-21-2011 1
Notice of Intervention by County of Hennepin 6-21-2011 2
Proposed Petition of Intervenor County of Hennepin 6-21-2011 5
Certificate of Service for County of Hennepin filings 6-21-2011 1
Affidavit of Donna Dunn,Executive Director, MN Coalition against Sexual Assault 6-21-2011 4
Affidavit of MN AIDS Project Re Impact on Client Health and Safety 6-21-2011 2
Affidavit of Service for Care Providers of MN Inc. Filings 6-22-2011 4
Petitioners Reply in Support of Request for Relief 6-22-2011 6
Proposed Findings of Fact Conclusion of law and Order Granting Motion for Temporary Funding filed by Petitioner 6-22-2011 8

The Minnesota Judicial Council and Lori Swanson, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Minnesota filed in the Second Judicial District Court the initial documents in the following matter on June 17th, 2011. The title of the case is:

62-CV-11-5361 In Re Temporary Funding of Core Functions of the Judicial Branch of the State of Minnesota.
Document Name Date Filed Pages
Petition 6-17-2011 11

Motion for Order to Show Cause

6-17-2011 2
Petitioner's Memorandum in Support of Motion for Relief 6-17-2011 27
Affidavit of Service 6-17-2011 2

Proposed Order to Show Cause

6-17-2011 2

Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order Granting Motion for Temporary Funding

6-17-2011 6

Notice of Case Filing

6-17-2011 1

Order to Recuse

6-17-2011 2

Order Appointing Hon. Bruce W. Christopherson

6-20-2011 1

Response of Governor to the Petition

6-20-2011 4

Signed Order to Show Cause

6-21-2011 2

Affidavit of Service for Response of Governor to Pet.

6-21-2011 13

Abolish Property Taxes 3

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