ST. PAUL, Minn. — Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the Senate may furlough staff as soon as December if the courts don’t restore their operating budget.

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the House and Senate’s $130 million budget this spring amid a dispute over tax breaks and other measures he signed into law. It sparked a legal battle that is now before the state Supreme Court, which hasn’t definitively ruled in the case.

Dayton has insisted the Legislature can take money from separate funds to continue operating. But Gazelka said Wednesday even with that extra money and cost cutting, they could stretch into mid-January.

Without extra cash, Gazelka says more than 200 employees will be furloughed Dec. 1. A Dayton spokesman accused Gazelka of misleading voters about the severity of their finances.