Thursday a bi-partisan group of lawmakers voted to sue Gov. Doug Burgum over his vetoing power.
According to The Legislative Management Committee, the governor violated his power by changing the language, and vetoing parts of spending bills with which he didn't agree.
The governor issued a statement saying:
“As I’ve stated before, the intent of these vetoes was to protect executive branch authority, preserve the separation of powers and prevent spending of scarce state resources without full legislative review. While we don’t believe this lawsuit to be a prudent use of taxpayer dollars, we will respond accordingly to any legal action that attempts to infringe on executive branch authority. In the meantime, we remain squarely focused on reinventing government and being as efficient as possible with taxpayer dollars as we carry out the duties of the executive branch.”
Democratic Senator Tim Mathern says the rationale behind the lawsuit is to clarify the governor’s authority.
Mathern added, “This just a waste of money? Using tax payers dollars, or is this a proper clarification of the roles of the executive branch and the legislative branch?”
The attorney general weighed in on the issue in June, saying the governor doesn't have the authority to veto conditions or restrictions on appropriations, without vetoing the appropriation itself.