These 16 people will decide Minnesota lawmaker salaries

- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lorie Gildea have announced their appointments to the 16-member Legislative Salary Council. On Election Day, Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment to remove state lawmakers’ power to set their own salaries, and instead establish an independent, citizens-only council to prescribe the salaries of their lawmakers.

“I am pleased to join with Chief Justice Gildea in making these appointments to the Legislative Salary Council,” said Governor Dayton. “They are all very distinguished citizens, who represent well the political and geographical diversity of Minnesota.”

“I am grateful that so many citizens applied to participate on the Legislative Salary Council,” said Chief Justice Gildea. “It is clear that this is an important issue to the people of Minnesota, and I appreciate all of those who volunteered to contribute their time, talent, and expertise on the council.”

Gov. Dayton’s appointments

Joseph Boyle – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Eighth Congressional District – International Falls, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Patrice Hannan – Republican Party
Fifth Congressional District – Minneapolis, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

David Metzen – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Second Congressional District – Mendota Heights, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Sherrie Pugh – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Third Congressional District – Mound, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Dr. Thomas Stinson – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Fourth Congressional District – Roseville, MN
Member and Chair
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Randy Twistol – Republican Party
Seventh Congressional District – Thief River Falls, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Marsha VanDenburgh – Republican Party
Sixth Congressional District – Oak Grove, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Laura Witty – Republican Party
First Congressional District – St. Peter, MN
Member
Effective: December 28, 2016
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Chief Justice Gildea’s appointments

Diana Burlison – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Sixth Congressional District – Sauk Rapids, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

William P. Donohue – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Fourth Congressional District – St. Paul, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Gregory R. Fox – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Eighth Congressional District – Duluth, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

James Joy – Republican Party
Seventh Congressional District – Hawley, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Charles J. McElroy – Republican Party
Fifth Congressional District – Minneapolis, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Gloria S. Myre – Republican Party
Second Congressional District – Apple Valley, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2019

Deborah Olson – Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Third Congressional District – Eden Prairie, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

Kenneth A. Wilmes – Republican Party
First Congressional District – Mankato, MN
Member
Effective: January 2, 2017
Term Expires: January 15, 2021

The first meeting must be before Jan. 15 to elect a chairperson, and the council will need to get to work quickly toward a March 31 deadline to set lawmaker salaries.

The council will work to set state lawmakers salaries every two years. No elected legislators or former legislators can sit on the council, nor can their spouses. State employees, judges and lobbyists are also excluded.

Minnesota lawmakers are currently paid an annual salary of $31,140 for their technically part-time job, covering the January to May session. Lawmakers can also draw daily “per diem” payments of $77 for House members and $96 for Senate members. Legislators are also reimbursed for mileage to and from the State Capitol, and outstate lawmakers can receive up to $1,500 per month for housing closer to the Capitol.
Lawmakers previously had to vote to give themselves a pay raise, something they had not done since 1999.

HOW MUCH DOES THE JOB PAY? Council members are compensated $55 per day spent on council activities.

DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL The state statute describes the council’s duties as the following: “By March 31 of each odd-numbered year, the council must prescribe salaries for legislators to take effect July 1 of that year. In setting salaries, the council must take into account any other legislative compensation provided to the legislators by the state and the most recent budget forecast. The council must submit a report by March 31 of each odd-numbered year with the prescribed salaries to the governor, the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the house of representatives, the chairs of the committees in the senate and the house of representatives with jurisdiction over the legislature's budget, and the chairs of the committees in the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction over finance. The report must describe the council's rationale for selecting the prescribed salaries.”


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