Minnesota lawmakers voted Thursday to cut the paychecks of more than two dozen state commissioners. That’s after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton passed out pay hikes to all 26 members of his cabinet, causing intense political controversy. Some of the raises were as high as $35,000.
A bill that temporarily halts salary increases for Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet is being staged for final legislative votes as soon as Thursday.
On Thursday, Walmart announced it’s giving raises to 500,000 of its lowest-paid workers. Starting in April, employees will make $9 per hour, which is $1.75 more per hour than the federal minimum wage.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt says he, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk are “nearing agreement” on a plan to settle a commissioner pay raise dispute that is holding up an important spending bill. Daudt said Wednesday they hope to strike a deal in time for House consideration on Thursday. Bakk confirmed the talks but said any agreement would likely be subject to a review by a joint House-Senate conference committee.
More drama is expected this week at the Capitol as both Republicans and Democrats battle Gov. Mark Dayton over his awarding his commissioners large pay raises.
Some Minnesota state employees stuck under a salary cap for 15 years may finally be in line for raises. Many of the state’s top jobs have been subject to a cap based on the governor’s pay. Many could get raises after the Legislature’s vote this year to increase salaries for the governor and agency commissioners for the first time since 1998.
Pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers won approval Tuesday from the state Senate, but the plan to boost salaries of the governor, Legislature, agency commissioners and other elected officials faces a taller climb in the state House.
Governor Mark Dayton says Minnesota lawmakers don’t get paid enough. The governor is supporting a recommendation from the State Compensation Council to raise lawmaker pay in 2015.