The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 20, 2013

Your View: Term limits may be the way to solve pay issue

By Merry Sinkbeil, Good Thunder

— The March 10 article in The Free Press, "Pay increases urged for top state officials" told us that the governor of Minnesota has not received a raise since the 1990s and needs one. It then went on to tell us that if that happens our state legislators will automatically receive a raise based on a percentage of the governor's salary (from "$31,140-a-year to $40,890 in 2015").

The governor would like that raise to be even more. He wants it to be $56,954, an almost 100 percent pay raise for a part-time position.

The article said those huge raises are needed to keep quality people in government. Wow. I thought it was April First but no, the calendar said it is still March.

So, because the salaries are low, is that the reason we are in such a financial and educational mess? First our state legislators tell us we are millions in debt and must make deep cuts and raise taxes. Then they tell us about all their new programs they will be funding and everyone gets a huge raise. And then they need a special session that directly impacts Minnesota citizens financially.

It's a viscious cycle. It's time to make cuts at the top of the structure, not raise their salaries nearly 100 percent. But they probably will since they vote in their own raises and benefits. We need term limits which could both allow new, ambitious candidates to serve as well as be an incentive for those elected to truly work to implement those promises they make while on the campaign trail before their term in office is up.