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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Roz Peterson (R)

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

ST. PAUL, MN — Rep. Roz Peterson, R-Lakeville, issued the following statement after news that Governor Mark Dayton approved more than $700,000 in pay increases for his commissioners. The increase could cost the state more than $1.4 million over the biennium, and was approved due to changes made by the DFL-controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton in 2013.

The changes allowed the limit on salaries for commissioners to move from 85 or 95 percent of the governor's salary to 133 percent of the governor's salary, and allowed the governor to raise the pay of the commissioners without legislative or public approval.

The salary increases, approved by Governor Dayton, took effect on January 5, 2015. The Legislative Coordinating Commission was notified of the salary increases on February 4, 2015.

"At a time when take-home pay for families remains flat and some Minnesotans are still struggling to make ends meet, it's outrageous that the Governor would approve enormous salary increases for commissioners and political appointees already making six-figure salaries.

"These raises come at a time when the Department of Human Services is making layoffs and asking the legislature for additional funding, and the Department of Commerce is under investigation for the misuse of more than $1 million in taxpayer funds.

"Minnesotans are going to be asking: 'Is this really necessary?' I believe the answer is no. Minnesotans want government to spend taxpayer dollars wisely—these pay raises are wasteful and will be examined closely by the legislature in the coming weeks."