Alpha News Asks Minnesotans, “Who Should Decide Legislative Pay?”

St. Paul, MN – This November voters will decide if lawmakers should determine their own pay. The issue has gotten plenty of media coverage, but do Minnesotans know the constitutional amendment is going to be on the ballot this November?

Lawmakers currently determine their own pay. The ballot initiative seeks to take that power away by creating a board of community members to determine the pay rate instead. Most of the Minnesotans we spoke to were confused by the language on the ballot question, unsure of how the people who will sit on the legislative pay board would be chosen.

Lawmakers have generally been quiet on this issue – Alpha News reached out to several legislative leaders and did not receive a response, and only one group has formally filed a position against the ballot initiative with the Secretary of State.  Chris Dock, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, says his group publicly opposes the initiative for several reasons, starting with the unclear ballot language.

“Looking at this amendment, it looked very simple when you’re looking at what’s on the ballot,” says Dock, “but when you read the actual content of what it’s intending to do, it’s very detailed, and we think misleading.”

The Libertarian Party says the proposal is “not necessary” saying lawmakers having the ability to set their own pay “has not been abused.” Dock adds that the proposal would create an “unelected body unaccountable to the public.”

Dock says this move seems similar to when the Met Council was formed, stating, “We’re going to end up with sixteen people who are appointed by the Governor and the Supreme Court, and they’re not elected, they’re not accountable to the people of Minnesota, and we just don’t know what all those underlying connections are going to be with how they make their decisions.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, failure to vote on the initiative is the same as a “no vote.”

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Julia Erynn