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Daudt's Raise Dispute May Rest with Court, Council Says

March 17, 2017 05:35 PM

The Legislative Salary Council decided unanimously on Friday morning to submit what will end up being a 60-page report to raise lawmakers' salaries to $45,000, which is a 45 percent pay increase.

Fifteen members of that council voted in favor of the $14,000 salary bump. A 16th member was absent.

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This particular independent council is made up of citizens, and those citizens cannot have conversations with lawmakers about their recommendation, until the report is submitted.

Chairman Thomas Stinson said that won’t happen on Friday. Stinson said, however, the deadline is March 31, but he expects the 60-page report to be submitted well before then. In the meantime, Stinson said they have to cross their “T”s and dot their “I”s.

A big question moving forward is whether lawmakers have to agree with the Legislative Salary Council’s recommendation and implement it on July 1.

"That’s a legal question…so he likely won’t be involved in that," Chairman Stinson said.

Daudt said on Thursday he will block the first legislative pay increase since 1999, raising constitutional questions.

RELATED: Speaker Daudt Moves to Block $14K Raises in the House   

Joseph Boyle, a member of the council, said that if it’s not put in place this summer, "I would be flabbergasted, because the Majority Leader who is also a Republican has respectfully disagreed with Representative Daudt."

The members of this Council include eight Republicans and eight Democrats. Minnesota voters created the Legislative Salary Council through a November constitutional amendment that removed lawmakers' ability to set their own pay.

Chairman Stinson said he and members of the council did not consider decreasing the salary bump to make it more appealing to lawmakers scared of voter backlash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Brandi Powell

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