Gov. Mark Dayton filed court papers today that are aimed at keeping some state services functioning during a government shutdown.
Dayton filed a petition in Ramsey County District Court outlining the government functions that he views as essential. The long list of recommendations include prisons, state troopers, emergency highway repair and programs for the poor, elderly and disabled.
In a news release, Dayton said he submitted the list with a “heavy heart.” He indicated that the services he left off his list should not continue during a shutdown.
“My decisions were not based upon personal preferences or policy considerations, Dayton wrote. “Rather, they were instructed by the words of the Minnesota Constitution, which I took an oath of office to uphold, and ensuing case law. Agency heads, their staffs, and the staff at the MN Department of Management and Budget and the Governor’s Office have spent many hours developing these recommendations.”
Dayton’s court documents also ask a judge to to appoint a mediator to oversee budget negotiations between himself and Republican legislative leaders. He recommended former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz for that role.
A shutdown would begin July 1 if the governor and Legislature don’t reach a budget agreement. But a judge could order the continuation of essential services. Attorney General Lori Swanson filed similar paperwork earlier in the week.
Here’s the governor’s list: