Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Senate Democrats break with Dayton, suspend pay raises

Author:

Gov. Mark Dayton suffered a setback in the ongoing battle over pay raises for his cabinet members Thursday, as the Minnesota Senate voted to suspend them.

The back-and-forth began last week when 2015 salary increases for 27 commissioners and agency heads were revealed. Some of the pay hikes are as large as $35,000 a year and they total more than $800,000.

Meeting with fierce opposition, Dayton defended the hikes by saying they would "attract and retain" the best civil servants. He added that many officials hadn't received raises in more than 10 years.

Until Thursday that opposition has been almost exclusively from Republican lawmakers, but it was the DFL-controlled Senate that voted 63-2 to block the pay hikes. They'll be suspended until July.

"It buys us the time we need in order to do a thoughtful review," Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told the Star Tribune.

The move could signal a political divide between the Democratic governor and DFL lawmakers, at least where salary increases are concerned.

On Thursday, Dayton said Bakk "stab[bed] me in the back and blindside[d] me," Northland's NewsCenter reports.

Senate Democrats "clearly distanced themselves" from Dayton on the issue, writes a Pioneer Press blogger, who says the crushing vote made it clear the governor has "gone too far" for some of his allies.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays negative after Karl-Anthony Towns takes scary fall

Towns crashed hard to the ground late in the game Wednesday night.

Minneapolis police

2 more homicides push Minneapolis closer to record set in 1995

The deadly shootings happened on the city's North Side Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

Related