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Senate Majority Leader Bakk has ‘reservations’ about size of commissioner pay raises

Gov. Dayton has faced Republican complaints about the high raises he gave to his commissioners; now DFL Senate leader says he isn’t crazy about them, either.

Gov. Mark Dayton took a shot from a DFL ally Wednesday night, when state Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said he has “reservations” about the size of the big raises the governor gave to his top commissioners.

Dayton has been attacked by state House Republicans for the amount of  the raises, some of which were in the $25,000 to $35,000 a year range. The governor has defended the raises, saying they are needed to retain top talent.

It wasn’t known where Bakk stood on the issue until he issued this statement:

“I am pleased the Governor recognizes state salaries should be more proportionate to the private sector pay scale. However, while I respect the Governor’s discretion granted by  Article III of the Minnesota Constitution, I have reservations about the size of the commissioners’ salary increases. I share the concern to retain and recruit exceptional talent for our state workforce, and while these increases may be warranted, I would prefer an incremental and measured implementation.”

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Both houses of the Legislature are expected to debate the raises, although it’s not known if they can rescind or adjust them.