Dayton Taking Applications for New Council

St. Paul, MN – A ballot initiative passed on November 8th approved the creation of an elected board to decide how much state legislators get paid.

Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) announced Monday he is inviting Minnesotans to apply to sit on the Legislative Salary Council, a council created by a Constitutional Amendment that passed on Election Day.

The Legislative Salary Council will include sixteen members. The new law gives Governor Dayton the power to appoint eight members to the council. The Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Lorie Skjerven Gildea, will choose the remaining eight. The law calls for the Governor and the Chief Justice to each appoint one member, two total, from each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts to serve on the board. Members of the panel must be equally pulled from the two parties holding the most seats in the Minnesota 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, nor be a current or former governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, or state auditor.  

Interested Minnesotans can apply through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. The Governor must appoint four Democrats and four Republicans, so applicants are asked to disclose their party affiliation.

Dayton’s press release lays out the duties and protocol of the council, stating, “By March 31 of each odd-numbered year, the council will prescribe salaries for legislators to take effect July 1 of that year. In setting salaries, the council will take into account any other legislative compensation provided to the legislators by the state and the most recent budget forecast.”

The deadline to apply and receive full consideration is Monday, December 5, 2016.

Julia Erynn