Gov. Dayton says he will reinstate commissioners' pay raises

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Gov. Mark Dayton told reporters Monday that he does plan to reinstate pay raises to his commissioners on Wednesday, saying the hike in pay is essential to providing strong government services and keeping top talent in their positions.

Earlier this year, Dayton increased salaries for his cabinet by a total of $802,000, but after much criticism from lawmakers he agreed to scale back the pay hikes if the Legislature agreed to give him the option of raising their pay again on July 1.

The governor said Monday that he does plan to raise their pay Wednesday, although he doesn't plan to approve the maximum pay in most cases, MPR News reports. He said he will base the raises on the need to attract and retain top employees.

Dayton also said Monday that an advisory commission will begin narrowing down finalists for the state's Supreme Court seat that will soon be vacated by Justice Alan Page, the Star Tribune reports.

The governor will also likely have to find a replacement for Justice Wilhelmina Wright, who was nominated to the U.S. District Court for Minnesota in April.

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