Minnesotans vote to remove lawmakers' power to set own salaries

- Minnesota voters passed an amendment Tuesday 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.

The governor and chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court will appoint a bipartisan, 16-member citizens council 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.

Lawmakers previously had to vote to give themselves a pay raise, something they had not done since 1999. 

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.

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