The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 9, 2013

Plan to boost lawmaker pay in Minn. budget bill

(Continued)

ST. PAUL —

No pay hikes would occur until 2015 because the state constitution requires an election between approval and enactment.

The pay plan is not in a companion House bill, but passage by the Senate would keep raises alive as the final budget is set in May. The pay raise proposal is a more delicate proposition in the House, where members are on the ballot in 2014. Senators won't face voters again until 2016.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has said he supports increasing lawmaker salaries and those of commissioners as a way to keep high-caliber managers from bolting to the private sector. Under the plan, some of the commissioners who report to the governor would be eligible to more than their boss. Going forward, the state would conduct a comprehensive study to determine competitive pay rates for top appointed posts.

Salaries for the attorney general, secretary of state and auditor would also rise.

A separate budget bill includes more-immediate raises for state judges, which was another part of the Compensation Council's recommendation.

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