House members won't accept recommended pay raise, Speaker Daudt says

- House Speaker Kurt Daudt has decided not to allow members of the Minnesota House of Representatives to accept the pay increases recommended by a bipartisan council of citizens. 

On Thursday, Daudt ordered the House Controller not to implement the salary recommendation from the Legislative Salary Council. The council announced their recommendation last Friday and is scheduled to formally report the recommendation this Friday.

The Legislative Salary Council is a bipartisan, 16-member citizens-only council appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court to set state lawmaker salaries every two years.

The council was created after Minnesotans passed an amendment in the last election to remove state lawmakers’ power to set their own salaries.

“Unfortunately in this economy, for us to accept that pay when others are not getting that sort of pay increase really would be wrong,” Daudt said at a press conference on Thursday. “I have made that decision. We will not be accepting the pay recommendations of the council.”

Daudt said he does not know whether the Senate will accept the council’s salary recommendation, but said  the House does not intend to vote for a pay increase for senators either.

In a memo, Daudt directed the House Controller to continue current salary levels for all members of the House, saying the state constitutions “prohibits payment of any money out of the state treasury except by appropriation by law.” All Minnesota lawmakers are currently paid an annual salary of $31,140 for their technically part-time job.

“The Constitution solely empowers the Legislature to enact appropriation,” Daudt wrote in the memo. “Until a law is enacted appropriating money for any pay increase by the Legislative Salary Council, no authority exists to pay that increase. “

Daudt said he does not know whether the Senate will accept the council’s salary recommendation, but said  the House does not intend to vote for a pay increase for senators either.

 


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