ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, issued the following statement after it was reported Gov. Mark Dayton issued potentially unauthorized taxpayer-funded severance payments, awarding nearly $80,000 to state employees who voluntarily departed.
“It was bad enough last year when the governor handed out raises of up to $42,000 for dozens of his political appointees, many of whom already were earning six-figure incomes,” Nornes said. “Now the governor is handing out severances for people voluntarily departing posts in state government. This amounts to taxpayer dollars being used to fund retirement bonuses and is something the Legislature needs to address in the 2017 session. It is clear more accountability and transparency is needed to stop this trend Dayton has started with exorbitant payoffs to his appointees.”
The most generous severance agreement, awarded to a former Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, came on the heels of those significant taxpayer-funded pay increases – totaling more than $800,000 – authorized by Dayton. This commissioner was previously a top staffer on Dayton's campaign for governor in 2010.