Legislative Salary Council
Active dates:2016 -
Function: By March 31st of each odd-numbered year, the council must prescribe salaries for legislators to take effect July 1st of that year. In setting salaries, the council must take into account any other legislative compensation provided to the legislators by the state and the most recent budget forecast. The report must describe the council's rationale for selecting the prescribed salaries.
In 2013, the legislature passed a bill (HF1823) proposing a constitutional amendment to change the way a legislator's salary is set (Laws of Minnesota 2013, chapter 124). The proposed amendment was modified in 2014, and stipulations about the Council's membership were also added (Laws of Minnesota 2014, chapter 282).
In the 2016 election, Minnesota voters approved the constitutional amendment, and the Legislative Salary Council was formed.
Appointing authorities are required to make their initial appointments by January 2, 2017. The governor shall designate one member to convene and chair the first meeting of the council. The first meeting must be before January 15, 2017.
If the council opts to give lawmakers a raise, it will be their first since 1999, when annual salaries were set at $31,140.
The 16-member Legislative Salary Council consists of the following members: one person, who is not a judge, from each congressional district, appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court; and one person from each congressional district, appointed by the governor.
If Minnesota has an odd number of congressional districts, the governor and the chief justice must each appoint an at-large member, in addition to a member from each congressional district.
One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the most members in the legislature. One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the second most members in the legislature.
None of the members of the council may be: a current or former legislator, or the spouse of a current legislator; a current or former lobbyist registered under Minnesota law; a current employee of the legislature; a current or former judge; or a current or former governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, or state auditor.
On December 23, 2016 Governor Mark Dayton and Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea announced appointments to the Legislative Salary Council. Dayton and Gildea each selected eight members comprising an equal number of DFLers and Republicans, and each selected one member from each Congressional District.
"They are all very distinguished citizens, who represent well the political and geographical diversity of Minnesota," Dayton said in a statement.
The chairman of the first meeting, as designated by Dayton, will be Thomas Stinson of Roseville; the council will then elect a chair at the inaugural meeting. Stinson retired in 2013 after decades as Minnesota's state economist.
Governor Dayton's appointees: Joseph Boyle, International Falls; Patrice Hannan, Minneapolis; David Metzen, Mendota Heights; Sherrie Pugh, Mound; Thomas Stinson, Roseville; Randy Twistol, Thief River Falls; Marsha Van Denburgh, Oak Grove; Laura Witty, St. Peter.
Chief Justice Gildea's appointees: Diana Burlison, Sauk Rapids; William Donohue, St. Paul; Gregory Fox, Duluth; James Joy, Hawley; Charles J. McElroy, Minneapolis; Gloria Myre, Apple Valley; Deborah Olson, Eden Prairie; Kenneth Wilmes, Mankato.
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