Gov. Mark Dayton will have a July 1 deadline to hike commissioners' pay – and he's keeping his cards close to his chest until then.
Dayton's decision to raise salaries by up to $35,000 a year for his executive officers has proved hugely controversial, prompting action from Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, who voted to delay the raises until July 1.
It also led to changes that means any future pay hikes for commissioners from July 2 onward will need legislative approval. These changes were approved by Minnesota's Senate and House on Thursday.
That means July 1 will be the last chance Dayton has to raise commissioner pay without the approval of lawmakers, but he told reporters today we won't be revealing how much he will hike the pay until the end of June.
"Ask me on June 30," he told the Associated Press.
Dayton has been embroiled in a "feud" with his fellow DFLer Thomas Bakk, the Senate leader who led Democrats in the vote suspending the pay hikes – which total $800,000.
But following a stern reaction from Dayton, in which he referred to the senator as a backstabber, the governor reached a compromise with lawmakers that will allow him to raise pay on July 1, before giving more power to legislators over future salary hikes.
More details of that deal can be found in this Star Tribune report.
The changes were attached to a deficiency bill that will also provide emergency funding for the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, and the partly-state-funded Minnesota Zoo.
Now it has passed through the legislature, the bill just needs a signature from Governor Dayton to become law.