Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt is looking at ways to avoid the 45-percent pay raise for state lawmakers that a special commission approved last week. Voters passed a constitutional amendment in November that took away legislators’ power to set their own salaries, but Daudt says if the commission’s decision is binding, lawmakers will get a raise when the legislature can’t give a similar increase to education, seniors programs and the like. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has a different view. The Republican from Nisswa says, “I see the constitution pretty clear, that it’s gotta be paid whether legislators think it should be paid or not paid. And an individual legislator if they want can say, I don’t want the money, but without that, it automatically happens.”
But the legislature has to come up with over 2.8 million dollars to cover lawmakers’ pay raises.