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Is it back to politics as usual in Minnesota?

The Chronicle was sent to press last Tuesday, May 30, with the editorial page applauding the Legislature and the governor for coming together in a spirit of compromise to get some much-needed work done.
That editorial also held out the hope that the governor would sign off on the 10 budget proposals that had been forwarded to his desk for approval. Which, we were happy to learn the next day, he had.
We were not happy, however, to learn that he did have one line-item veto — he defunded the state Legislature, leaving it with no money to conduct its business.
The governor, in effect, curtailed the ability of the Legislature to do its job. In a guest column in the Star Tribune, Gov. Mark Dayton offered up several topics in which he felt the Legislature failed its consituency — ranging from changes in teachers licensure to how tax cuts will reduce revenues by an alleged $5.1 billon over the next 10 years, as well tax benefits for the rich, and prohibiting the issuing of driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Earlier in the week, the governor decried what he called a “sneak attack” by the Legislature when it included a clause that funding for the Department of Revenue would be withheld if the governor did not sign off on the proposed tax cuts.
In effect, it would seem that the governor wants to curtail the Legislature’s powers while the Legislature wants to curtail the governor’s.
The governor claims he has no intention of permanently defunding the Legislature, that his hope is that it will come back to the table and revise its decisions.
A group of conservatives, however, are suing the governor over his line-item veto.
The last sentence of last week’s editorial expressed the hope (an empty hope, it turns out) that this year’s legislative session was ushering in a new era of cooperation between not only Republicans and Democrats, but between the Legislature and the governor.
This week’s events have proved otherwise, and that is sad. Neither side’s attempt to circumvent the other is praiseworthy, but the governor’s veto seems especially heavyhanded.
Anyone who has taken a simple civics class knows that our national and state governments are predicated on a balance of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Therefore, if one branch or another feels there is an imbalance, the proper means to address that imbalance is through a constitutional amendment, not through political posturing.
There was still much that was accomplished this legislative session; it’s just too bad that the successes were tarnished in the jousting that resulted it its aftermath.
— L.C.