Daudt says House won’t fund lawmakers’ pay raises

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
House Speaker Kurt Daudt

Remember to be more impressed when they decline per diem. Says Rachel Stassen-Berger in the PiPress, “House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Thursday that the Minnesota House will refuse to fund the salary increase a constitutionally mandated board approved for lawmakers. Last week, the board — made up of Democratic and Republican citizens from around the state — decided lawmakers should get a 45 percent bump in their pay, their first raise since 1999. Legislators currently earn about $31,000 a year. The board plans to dictate that lawmakers receive $45,000 annually starting in July.”

Stop your fretting. We’ll never have another rainy day. At MPR, Tim Pugmire says, “Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are proposing $900 million in tax cuts that they say will help boost the state’s economy. The plan, announced Thursday, is three times bigger than DFL Gov. Mark Dayton’s tax proposal and includes the first cut to the lowest tax rate since 2000. But Republican lawmakers were short on specifics, including how they plan to pay for the cuts.” Now that’s a shocker.

More on the police-involved shooting in St. Paul. Says Mara Gottfried in the PiPress, “The situation before Cordale Handy was fatally shot by St. Paul police officers was not a domestic violence incident but rather his girlfriend trying to get a gun away from him for his own safety, a witness said Thursday. When police arrived early Wednesday, Handy’s girlfriend and a friend of the couple pleaded with officers to understand that the gun was unloaded. He had fired the gun until it was empty into his apartment wall beforehand, the girlfriend told their friend.” 

Looking to upgrade your cabin experience? Maybe something with (a lot of) indoor plumbing? Hadley Frel for something called Mansion Global has this little getaway for you. “Location: Silver Bay, Minnesota. Price: $5.495 million. Situated on seven-and-a-half acres with over 1,400 feet of linear shoreline, this property combines the Nordic feel of the region with Asian influences—what listing agent Ross Melby refers to as ‘Scandinavian Zen.’ … The interior of the home, which is perched atop a cliff overlooking Lake Superior, takes advantage of natural materials — walls of stone, and lots of thin-slat wood paneling—and adorns these clean lines with relics of the owner’s travels throughout Asia.” 

Consequences, of course. Just not the money kind. For The New York Times Stacy Cowley reports, “Wells Fargo and its leaders have expressed much contrition about the bank’s misdeeds, which included setting up as many as 2 million bank accounts without customers’ consent. Top executives have surrendered more than $90 million in compensation, fired employees at all levels and vowed to clean house. But the top executives — particularly the current chief executive and his predecessor, who retired under pressure in October — still took home lavish sums last year, according to a regulatory filing this week.” 

At USA Today Arden Dier says Target needs some lessons in basic Boston. “If a company plans to help customers showcase their ‘local pride,’ said company should probably have some basic local knowledge. That might not have been the case with Target, whose series of flawed, Boston-themed T-shirts came under attack this week. A Twitter user was among the first to draw attention to numerous misspellings (Jamaica Plain is Jamaca Plain, for instance) on one shirt displaying a map of Boston neighborhoods, but that was just the beginning.” Made in America, ya think?

They prefer real money. For MPR, Catharine Richert writes, “The Minnesota Department of Human Services is probing the Mayo Clinic for possible violations of civil- and human-rights laws by putting a higher priority on patients with commercial insurance. The review, confirmed Thursday by DHS Commissioner Emily Piper, follows reports that Mayo will give preference to privately insured patients. Piper’s department is also evaluating its various contracts with the Mayo Clinic system, which reaches far beyond its Rochester home base. Those contracts served over 150,000 public program enrollees last year, including lab work and pharmacy services.”

Louise Erdrich scores again. Says Laurie Hertzel in the Strib, “Minnesota writer Louise Erdrich won the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction on Thursday night for her novel, ‘LaRose,’ the final book in her justice trilogy. She also won the award in 1984, for ‘Love Medicine.’ And Minnesota native Hope Jahren won in the autobiography category for her memoir, ‘Lab Girl’. Erdrich and Jahren were among eight writers honored at a ceremony and reception held at the New School in New York City.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/17/2017 - 07:07 am.

    Speaker Daudt’s Grand Standing

    Reminds me of something Jim Hightower said:

    No matter how cynical you get, it’s almost impossible to keep up.

  2. Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/17/2017 - 09:48 am.

    2 more amendments needed

    1) Legislators MUST accept any pay increases or decreases as mandated by the voters of the State of Minnesota and Article 4, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota

    2) Kurt Baby-Don Daudt may hold NO elected office in the State of Minnesota or receive ANY compensation from the State of Minnesota for ANY work preformed or services provided on alleged behalf of the State of Minnesota

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/17/2017 - 11:46 am.

    Legislators MUST accept any pay increases or decreases as mandated by the voters of the State of Minnesota and Article 4, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota

    What happens if they don’t? Does somebody call the cops?

    Putting aside the hypocrisy for just a moment, Speaker Daudt is raising an interesting issue in constitutional law. It seems now that the constitution now, arguably, mandates that the legislature do certain things. But what happens if they don’t? Does somebody sue in order to make them pass a law? Who has standing to do that? A legislator? A non-legislator? And even if a court does order them to pass a law, what happens if they don’t? Do the cops round up our wayward 201 legislators and put them in jail? And more theoretically, how can the judicial branch order a collateral branch of government to legislate? Isn’t that the most direct violation of separation of powers possible?

    My own view is what the voters have done is created a right without a remedy. The legislators have a right to the pay raise, but they don’t have the right to enforce that right and neither does anyone else. The constitutional provision simply become an unenforceable dead, something that’s on the law books but just doesn’t go anywhere.

  4. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 03/17/2017 - 03:30 pm.

    Daubt as pay czar

    Didn’t we the people just approve a constitutional amendment to create this way to decide on non-politicized legislative pay increases? The people have spoken.

    Daubt, you just proved you have no respect for the state constitution that I think you swore you would uphold, which frankly disqualifies you as a candidate for higher office. Maybe you just want people with independent wealth running for office?

    If you don’t need the money, that doesn’t mean that others don’t! Just remit the additional pay as a contribution to the state department of revenue if you want to grandstand!

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