FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 31, 2020
Bill Walsh (651) 373-1819
(Golden Valley, MN) Representative Marion O’Neill (House District 29B) and Senator Mark Koran (Senate District 32), represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center, have filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court seeking to stop Minnesota Management and Budget’s illegal implementation of State Union pay raises without legislative ratification.
The Petition seeks a writ of quo warranto or a declaratory judgment from the Ramsey County District Court that sets aside collective bargaining agreements that were illegally implemented by the Commissioner of Management and Budget earlier in 2020 without ratification by both houses of the Legislature. The lawsuit alleges that neither house of the Legislature approved the same bill ratifying the collective bargaining agreements in their current forms, and so ratification never occurred. The lawsuit further alleges that despite no ratification, the Commissioner of Management and Budget illegally implemented the agreements anyway. As a result, the implementation must be set aside and any bargaining agreements re-submitted to the Legislature for a vote.
Senator Mark Koran, current chair of the Legislative Coordinating Committee’s Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER), and Representative Marion O’Neill, former chair of the SER, provided a joint statement on the lawsuit: “Minnesota’s statutes are clear on this issue: if a majority in both houses of the Legislature do not approve state employee union bargaining agreements, they may not be implemented. That didn’t happen with these agreements, and the Commissioner chose to implement them anyway. Our state government depends on the executive branch obeying the laws instead of ignoring them and ruling by decree. This lawsuit seeks to uphold the rule of law in Minnesota.”
Howard Root, Chair of the Upper Midwest Law Center, stated: “The executive branch of our state has demonstrated nothing but contempt for the rule of law in 2020, whether it’s Governor Walz selectively shutting down business, or the Commissioner of MMB throwing caution to the wind and illegally giving pay raises to state employees regardless of contrary law. Minnesota cannot afford pay raises to state employees when its private sector businesses and their employees are suffering because of the Walz Administration’s shutdowns. This kind of disregard for the law must end.”
Doug Seaton, Esq., President of the Upper Midwest Law Center, added: “There is no reason that the Commissioner of MMB can’t follow the required constitutional and statutory process to legally implement any bargaining agreements that Minnesota’s executive branch and its state employee unions have struck. This lawsuit merely seeks to restore the legal process that has been in place for as long as public employee collective bargaining has existed in Minnesota. We look forward to the Court overruling and sanctioning MMB’s illegal conduct.”
The legal action was filed in Ramsey County District Court on Monday, December 28, 2020 as a quo warranto and declaratory judgment action, which asks the court to set aside the implementation of the bargaining agreements that were not ratified by the Legislature. Click here to view the petition.
About the Upper Midwest Law Center
The Upper Midwest Law Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm with the mission to initiate pro-freedom litigation to protect against government overreach, special interest agendas and public union corruption and abuses. UMLC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
To learn more about the Upper Midwest Law Center, click here.