Advertisement

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

March 16, 2017 05:13 PM

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt is instructing House staff to not issue the $14,000 salary increases recently approved by an independent body.
    
Minnesota voters set the 45-percent raise in motion in November by overwhelmingly approving a constitutional amendment to create a Legislative Salary Council. That body decided last week to increase lawmaker pay from $31,100 to $45,000 annually.

It would be the Legislature's first raise in 18 years.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

"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 told reporters summoned to his office where he explained why the House would reject the raise.
    
Though lawmakers no longer have the power to set their own salary, many are still clearly worried about backlash from voters.
    
Daudt directed the House's financial controller Thursday not to implement the higher salaries on July 1 as recommended by the Legislative Salary Council. 

But an hour later, Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said it's not that easy to reject a raise authorized by a council voters put in the state constitution.

"We had a commission that did that and they proposed that the salaries now be $45,000," Gazelka said at a news conference where GOP senators were unveiling a tax relief package.

"That's what the constitution directs. I don't know how you can possibly get around that."

Gazelka said his members plan to "move on" with budget issues and other legislation and assumes the raise will happen on July 1.

"Even if you say I'm not going to accept it, come July 1 I believe the courts are going to say you must do this because this is what the constitution says," Gazelka told reporters.

Daudt says the House will not vote to approve $2.8 million in annual funding to pay for the raise.

"We believe that the legislature has the constitutional right to appropriate the money if we choose to and we are going to choose not to do that," he said.

The Legislative Salary Council meets again Friday morning to finalize its pay-raise recommendation.   

The Associated Press contributed to this report

KSTP

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Advertisement
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017, as a showdown is set for a vote on the Republican health care overhaul after President Donald Trump made clear he is finished negotiating with GOP holdouts.

House Republicans Withdraw Health Care Bill

This is an undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police of Khalid Masood. Authorities identified Masood, a 52-year-old Briton as the man who mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament in London.

London Attacker was Cheerful, Joking on Eve of Rampage

Federal Assessment of St. Anthony Police Department to Include Look at Traffic Stops

Numerous law enforcement vehicles and SWAT teams respond to shooter Wednesday at an apartment complex in Rothschild, Wisconsin.

Suspect Identified in Quadruple Wisconsin Shooting

Regents Look to Commission Independent Review of Gophers Football Players Investigation

President Donald Trump, flanked by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, is seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Friday, during the announcing of the approval of a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

Trump Administration Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Advertisement