Lawmakers poised for a pay bump

The Minnesota Legislative Salary Council plans to increase legislator salaries to $46,500 per year, a more than 3 percent increase that took into account everything from inflation and cost of living to what other state employees are paid.

The council agreed and voted on the $1,500 increase, up from $45,000 a year, in a meeting on Friday, and the decision will be finalized by the end of the month. This is the second raise recommended by the council, which was approved by voters in a 2016 ballot initiative.

The most recent raise is modest compared to the bump from two years ago, when the council raised legislative salaries from roughly $31,000 per year to $45,000.  That was the first time legislative salaries had been raised in nearly two decades.

Technically, Minnesota legislators work part time, and they also collect per diem and other reimbursements for things like lodging and mileage. But under the wording of the amendment, the council is only authorized change legislative salaries.

The council is appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The council must sent its final recommendations to the governor, and leaders in the House and Senate so they can incorporate it into budget discussions this year.

In total, the raises will cost more than $301,000 per year, going into effect on July 1.

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