Employee Payouts Focus of Hearings in Senate, not House
The chairman of the House Higher Education Committee on Monday declined a lawmaker's request to hold hearings on the $32 million in payouts to departing employees by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
Rep. Bud Nornes (R-Fergus Falls) told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Monday by phone that while the news of the payouts for unused sick time, vacation time, and severance was not "an urgent situation" and "doesn't rise to the level of an emergency hearing," he would be open to a hearing during the regular Legislative session or a joint hearing with a Senate committee.
Based on a commercial promoting the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation, Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) had asked for House hearings before Rep. Nornes' committee, of which he's a member, two days before the report aired on KSTP.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Parry (R-Waseca), chairman of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations, ordered a hearing in his chamber the day after the investigation aired, detailing the $86 million in payouts to workers who left state government during the past three years.
Eighteen of the top 20 payouts went to MnSCU administrators, a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS analysis found, including the largest amount, $319,862, to retiring MnSCU administrator James McCormick.
Sen. Parry quoted figures from the KSTP report in his news release ordering the hearing. A date has not yet been set.