House GOP wants Kelliher at Rules Committee meeting.

Republicans in the Minnesota House say they want DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher at a Monday morning Rules Committee hearing that will discuss whether the House should join a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pawlenty’s unallotment authority. GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Zellers issued a news release and a letter to DFL House Majority Leader Tony Sertich saying he has concerns about the resolution and wants Kelliher, who is also running for governor, there to discuss why the House is taking the action.

Here’s the news release:

ST. PAUL, November 13, 2009 – Concerned about the politicization of traditionally nonpartisan House Research staff, Republican members of the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration today sent a letter to House Majority Leader Tony Sertich requesting that House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher be at Monday’s hastily-scheduled Rules Committee meeting.

Sertich, who chairs the committee, announced late Thursday that the committee will consider whether the House should file a brief of amicus curiae in support of a pending lawsuit challenging Governor Pawlenty’s use of unallotment to balance the state’s budget.

“We have serious concerns about the wisdom of this proposed action and the way in which it came about that only the Speaker of the House can address,” said House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. “We know from media reports that the Speaker was in meetings on the topic of potential lawsuits against unallotment, and the public deserves to know if, at any time, she promised or suggested the use of House resources in support of a lawsuit.”

“In no situation should the nonpartisan legal counsel be ordered to take a position on anything. Their job is to provide objective, unbiased analysis to House members and the public. They are absolutely not a political tool for the majority to dispense in support of a political agenda.” If the Speaker cannot attend, Republicans asked that the meeting be postponed until a time that allows her attendance.

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