A Raise for Lawmakers? Constitutional Amendment Passes in MN

St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State legislators may be getting a raise after a Constitutional Amendment placed on Tuesday’s ballot passed by a massive margin.

The ballot measure asked Minnesotans if lawmakers should no longer decide their own pay, and instead create a council of community members to determine the pay rate.

Most lawmakers were silent on this issue, and neither party took a side.  As Alpha News previously reported, the only group to officially speak out against the measure was the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, who say the proposal is “not necessary” and would would create an “unelected body unaccountable to the public.”

The wording on the ballot question left some Minnesotans confused about the intent of the question, and made no mention of how the citizens on the council would be chosen. The ballot question stated, “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to remove state lawmakers’ power to set their own salaries, and instead establish an independent, citizens-only council to prescribe salaries of lawmakers?”

The 16 members of the legislative pay council, which will be comprised of Republicans and Democrats to decide how much lawmakers should be paid every odd-numbered year, will be appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.

Lawmakers currently make $31,140 per year, as well as a per diem and reimbursements for expenses. Several other states have made similar boards, which generally resulted in a pay increase for elected officials.  

The measure passed 1,995,470 to 473,046, or by 77 percent.

Julia Erynn