State GOP House government finance chair to Dayton: Don’t give those big raises

With Gov. Mark Dayton intending to grant raises to his state commissioners on July 1 — during the one-day window that the Legislature gave him in a compromise on his proposed controversial and large pay increases, Republicans are still urging him to hold off.

In a letter to the governor, House State Government Finance Chair Sarah Anderson, a Republican from Plymouth, said he should reconsider, because many state families have seen flat wages for years.

The governor has said that the raises, which in his original proposal totaled $800,000 in total, with many positions going up between $25,000-$35,000 a year, are much needed. He said: “Competitive salaries are important to recruit and retain the very best people for those high level executive positions.”

But after much protest by Republicans and others, the governor gave up some ground during negotiations, Briana Bierschbach wrote, that led to an agreement that “suspends recently enacted raises until July 1. But it also reverses a 2013 law change that allowed Dayton to increase commissioner salaries in the first place. Instead, the Legislature would have final approval of any salary hikes.”

The governor said Monday that he’ll go ahead with the raises on Wednesday.

Anderson said in the letter: “… please take into consideration the hardworking Minnesota taxpayers who are still struggling to make ends meet and would be alarmed to see your commissioners receive salary increases equivalent to many Minnesotans’ annual pay.”

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