MN House Speaker Moves to Block Lawmaker Raise 17 Mar 17

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt is instructing House staff to not issue the $14,000 salary increases recently approved by an independent body.

Minnesota voters set the 45 percent raise in motion in November by overwhelmingly approving a constitutional amendment to create a Legislative Salary Council. That body decided last week to increase lawmaker pay from $31,000 to $45,000 annually. It would be the Legislature’s first raise in nearly two decades.

Though lawmakers no longer have the power to set their own salary, many are still clearly worried about backlash from voters.

Daudt directed the House’s financial controller Thursday not to implement the higher salaries come July.

His decision raises major questions if the Legislature can block pay raises that are now part of the state’s constitution.