Now that both sides have agreed to a mediator, the next question is whether that mediator will get Mark Dayton to negotiate in good faith. The odds of that are slim.
Based on past reporting, Gov. Dayton wants the GOP Tax Relief Bill significantly reduced. He wants the cigarette tax breaks eliminated. Further, he wants business property tax relief reduced. Meanwhile, Republicans have little incentive to modify their tax bill, which was already trimmed down from the 2016 bill that passed with overwhelming support.
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto was constitutional, which wasn’t surprising. They also ruled that a constitutional tool can’t be used to achieve an unconstitutional result. Part of their ruling stated emphatically that Minnesotans have the right to a fully functioning legislature. When the court said that, they telegraphed where this case was heading if a negotiated settlement isn’t reached.
Further reducing the Republicans’ incentive to renegotiate their tax relief bill is the fact that Mark Dayton signed the bill into law. The Court can’t negate that. They can’t order the legislature to reduce the size of the tax relief package. They couldn’t enforce that if they ordered it.
I wouldn’t blame Republicans if they didn’t give much in mediation. The Court ordered mediation because Mark Dayton negotiated in bad faith. The Court is asking them to negotiate in good faith, something that Dayton doesn’t have a reputation for doing.
Negotiations are expected to start next week. I’m not expecting miraculous results: