As Republicans sue Governor Mark Dayton for vetoing the legislature’s operating funds, another group is asking that same judge to order that lawmakers get a pay raise — from 31-thousand dollars a year to 45-thousand — which was approved by a special commission that voters authorized last fall. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt says, “I didn’t have the votes to pass a bill to increase the pay in the legislature. I asked Democrats if they wanted to put up votes. They kindly said, nope, we don’t.” But plaintiffs’ attorney Erick Kaardal argued before the judge Monday, “The people in 2016 voted for this constitutional amendment and they expect their laws to be adhered to by all branches of the government.”
Voters last fall approved a constitutional amendment that transferred authority for setting lawmakers’ pay from the legislature to a new Legislative Salary Council. That group approved a salary increase, but House Republican leaders have refused to appropriate the money to pay for it, saying they won’t take a raise if Minnesotans aren’t getting one.