House lawmakers won't get a big pay raise after all, Daudt says

"I have made that decision. We will not be accepting the pay recommendations of the Council."

Last week, the Legislative Salary Council voted to increase lawmakers’ pay from $31,140 to $45,000, marking their first raise since 1999. But Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt wants nothing to do with that.

The salary increase is in response to a constitutional amendment that was on the November ballot. Minnesotans approved the amendment, which gave the 16-member Legislative Salary Council the authority to decide legislator pay every two years.

But according to the Pioneer Press, Daudt said the Minnesota House won't fund the 45 percent salary increase.

“We are choosing not to fund the Council’s recommendation to increase salaries for members of the House,” the Republican said.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported Daudt was looking into whether the House could legally opt out of the raises.

And by the looks of a letter sent out Thursday, Daudt seems to have deemed it acceptable. The letter specifically instructs the House not to adopt the recommended pay raises.

"I have made that decision. We will not be accepting the pay recommendations of the Council," Daudt told reporters. "For us to accept that pay when others are not getting that sort of pay increase ... would be wrong."

However, the Senate sees things differently.

“That’s what the Constitution directs,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka told WCCO. “I don’t know how you can possibly get around that."

The Legislative Salary Council is set to vote Friday to finalize the pay hikes. The raises are supposed to go into effect July 1.

For more information on the raises, click here.

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