Judge to taxpayers: Legislature can do anything

Last night, I heard that the judge dismissed Jim Knoblach’s lawsuit. The twisted logic behind the judge’s ruling has essentially given future legislatures a gigantic loophole that essentially nullifies the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s Constitution. Jim Knoblach’s argument, the DFL’s counnterargument and the judge’s ruling are found in this document:

Here’s where the judge created a gigantic loophole:

The crux of the plaintiff’s argument is that, based on legislative custom and history, the passage of Section 21 was a significant deviation from traditional practice — by its inclusion in a tax bill and consideration before a tax committee — and was the product of impermissable logrolling that violates the Single Subject and Title Clause. Where the court has found that legislation is germane to a single subject, however, allegations of legislative improprieties cease to be a proper subject of judicial review. Certainly Plaintiff has highlighted significant oddities about this legislation and its passage, but such factors only become relevant if the legislation has failed the mere filament test.

What this judge just did was rule that the DFL could’ve put other capital projects into last year’s Tax Bill:

But Judge Lezlie Marek rejected that argument, writing in her order of dismissal that the legislation did not violate the single subject requirement. The $2 billion tax bill was a sprawling piece of legislation, but Marek ruled that the office building provision is linked to the rest by a common thread of “financing and raising revenue to fund state and local government operations.”

In other words, it’s a single subject because the tax bill finances government operations. That’s absurd illogic. The Senate Office Building project isn’t part of government operations. It can’t be part of government operations until it’s actually built, if then.

By this judge’s ruling, anything can be justified if it’s ruled to be part of state or local government operations and it’s included in the tax bill. That’s a gigantic loophole for the DFL to exploit.

The lesson taxpayers should take away from this is that the DFL won’t hesitate in spending hard-working families’ money on things that aren’t needed. Last spring, the DFL voted to spend $63,000,000 on an impractical building. Here’s what we’re getting forced down our throats:

Under the approved design, 44 senators from both parties and their staffs would relocate to the new building, and 23 others — the DFL and GOP leaders and committee chairs — would keep offices in the Capitol.

The “heart” of the new building would be the main floor with large, open public gathering spaces that look out on the Capitol through a “sweeping curve” of a glass and stone wall, said Jon Pickard, the principal designer with the Pickard Chilton architectural design firm. Large committee hearing rooms, which the Capitol lacks, also would be located on the main floor.

Senators and their staffs would have offices on the top two floors. A two-level, 265-stall parking garage would be built under the building.

The House Rules Committee hasn’t voted to approve this monstrosity. DFL legislators can stop the building of this disfunctional, ill-advised project by not approving this project. If they approve Sen. Bakk’s palace, they will have proven that they’re irresponsible stewards of the public’s money. Only a fool thinks that spending $63,000,000 on this ill-advised SOB (Senate Office Building) is a wise investment.

Anyone voting for the SOB isn’t a trustworthy watchdog of the taxpayers’ money.