Minn. House filing second brief challenging Pawlenty's unallotmentby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota House will file a second legal brief supporting the court challenge of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2009 budget fix.
DFL members of the House Rules Committee approved a resolution Tuesday to hire outside legal counsel and file a friend of the court brief with the Minnesota Supreme Court. The governor is appealing a lower court ruling that went against his use of unallotment to solve last year's budget deficit.
DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich of Chisholm says a statement on the separation of powers was needed for the original case and is now needed for the appeal.
"I think people believe that no one person should have that much power, and that's not what our democracy is in America or in Minnesota," Sertich said. "So, the governor has actually chosen to move forward on this and appeal to a hire court, and we need to maintain our position as well."
Republicans oppose the action. Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano, a GOP candidate for governor, is preparing his own friend of the court brief that supports the governor's unallotment powers.
House GOP Minority Leader Kurt Zellers said it's akin to using the taxpayers' money to sue for your political opinion.
"It's just not right," he said.