The Minnesota Legislature has hired a private law firm to challenge Gov. Mark Dayton's line-item veto of funding for the House and Senate.
A committee of legislative leaders voted 7-2 to hire an attorney, a dispute that could likely head to court.
Dayton zeroed out the Legislature's budget while signing the rest of a $46 billion budget earlier this week, aiming to get top lawmakers back to the Capitol to slim down a $650 million tax bill.
"I frankly think in St. Paul your word has to mean something. I would love to sit down with the Governor but I will not sit down with the Governor and renegotiate something he already agreed to," said Kurt Daudt, Republican House Speaker.
A committee of top lawmakers approved hiring Minneapolis firm Kelley, Wolter and Scott, who have agreed to take on the case for $325 per hour.
Two DFL lawmakers on the committee called for mediation instead.
"You have chosen the option of engaging and fighting and I think Minnesotans are tired of that. I think Minnesotans will be disappointed to see their hard earned dollars to be spent on litigation when no attempt is to be made to reach an agreement," said Melissa Hortman, DFL-House Minority Leader.