State legislators will get a pay increase of 7.25% beginning in July.
The $3,500 annual increase, from $48,250 to $51,750, was unanimously approved Friday by the independent Legislative Salary Council.
The council considered salaries for legislatures in other states, local county board compensation, and inflation in its decision-making.
State legislators earn a salary of just $25,000 in Iowa, $11,892 in South Dakota, and $537 per month in North Dakota, according to the council. In Wisconsin, lawmakers are paid $55,141 per year.
The council heard from several former legislators who said the current salary does not reflect the amount of work involved and is inadequate for people who have families to support. Others argued that people should not be able to make a living solely through a legislative career. Minnesota has a part-time legislature that is in session five months out of the year and most legislators have other full-time jobs.
According to WJON News, the salary increase will cost the state an extra $810,000 per year.