Anticipating possible government shutdown, Minnesota legislators want to block state courts from ordering funding of “essential services”

In a repeat of what occurred in 2005 and 2011, Minnesota’s government may be facing a shutdown. When those shutdowns occurred, the state’s judiciary ordered “essential services” to remain funded. However as in 2011 members of the legislature anticipating court-ordered “essential” spending are moving to prevent the courts from issuing such orders.

Prior to the 2011 shutdown the legislature considered preempting any court orders by stripping the courts of jurisdiction to hear any “essential services” cases “except for funding for public safety” (HB 1753 of 2011). Now the same language has made its way into¬†SB 2146 of 2015. Taking this court stripping effort an additional step further is SB 2144 of 2015 which would prevent state courts from ordering any funding whatsoever.

Both bills are currently pending in the Senate State & Local Government Committee.