MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota House is debating a Republican bill to put the brakes on spending for state government operations.

Despite a sharp warning from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, Republicans are also tinkering with the salaries of some top Dayton appointees. Though there’s a $2 billion budget surplus, House Republicans are cutting $67 million from state operations, including their own budget.

And they’re wading back into the pay controversy.

The measure cuts 7 percent from government operations, including the House, Senate and constitutional officers. It freezes state worker levels. It cuts pay for the governor’s appointed Met Council chairman. And it most likely eliminates the job of the governor’s chair of the Sports Facilities Authority.

“Across Minnesota people are concerned about these pay raises for political appointees,” Rep. Sarah Anderson, chair of the State Government Finance Committee.

After a public outcry earlier this year, Dayton was forced to sign a bill rescinding pay hikes for all his appointees. But he’ll get another chance July 1 to set the salaries of his appointees to the level he deems appropriate.

Last week, he railed against Republicans who crafted the bill, daring them to run for governor themselves.

“I begin to wonder if people really do want to make government worse, so they can continue this anti-government tirade that they’re on,” he said. “I’m not going to stand for it.”

 

Pat Kessler

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