The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State budget: a closer look

July 2, 2011

State shutdown: Q&A with local legislators


Cornish: “ The tobacco settlement, yeah, I could accept something like that.

Gambling? I don’t have any problem with racino or a service-related fee that we don’t play games with. ...

The only way I would accept more revenue is if (Dayton) would come way down on his spending.”

Brynaert: “ That’s not really revenue, it’s borrowing from the future. That’s a bad choice.”

Gruenhagen: “Let’s put it this way. It was an offer that was put on the table to prevent a shutdown. At that point, I was willing to consider that.”

Will you collect any pay or per diem, now or later, for the period that state government is shut down?

Rosen: “No.”

Sheran: “I clearly am not going to accept the pay, and I’m not going to accept the per diem.”

DeKruif: “I will not take per diem that’s related to the shutdown. I’ve said I will tie my pay to whether (DFL Sen.) Larry Pogemiller takes his pay.

And I’m still working; the people who aren’t getting paid aren’t working.”

Parry: “Absolutely. We’re citizen-legislators. We’re paid for five months of work, $31,000. They spread it out throughout the year.

I’m working. I’m on- call. I’ll continue to accept that salary the citizens have given us.”

Morrow: “I will not be collecting pay or per diem while the state is in shutdown.

But I will still be working.”

Cornish: “None (including lodging and other reimbursements). For the last couple of years, I’ve been taking a cut in pay — the only one (in the Legislature).”

Brynaert: “Per diem is not an option. We voted that out in Rules Committee. I’m not receiving any pay during the shutdown.”

Gruenhagen: “I’m considering giving the additional pay to local district charities, depending on how long it goes. ... Who knows how long this will drag on?”

In addition, Republicans were asked:

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State budget: a closer look