A pay raise for state legislators is *not* in a final budget bill the Minnesota Legislature approved Thursday night. A special commission authorized by voters approved an increase, but House Republican leaders refused to appropriate money to pay for it. Top Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle are unhappy about that, arguing the state Constitution requires that approved salary increases be implemented. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says, “We’re gonna keep working hard for that. Both Senator [Tom] Bakk and I will not give up on that one.”
House Speaker Kurt Daudt says lawmakers should not take a pay raise when many Minnesotans aren’t getting one. His political opponents say Daudt is pushing the issue because he plans to run for governor. Many analysts predict the courts will order that lawmakers get the increase.