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Associated Press, Published April 16 2013

Pay raises for Minn. lawmakers barely clear Senate

ST. PAUL — Pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers have the green light from the state Senate after a narrow 34-32 vote.

But the plan to boost salaries of the governor, the Legislature, agency commissioners and some other elected officials face a taller climb in the state House. Tuesday's vote saw five Democrats join all Republicans in voting against the bigger state agency finance bill that included the raises. No one attempted to strip out the proposed raises.

Minnesota hasn't increased pay for elected officials since the late 1990s. The governor makes $120,000 and legislators earn $31,000. Under the plan, the governor would see two 3 percent raises and legislators would earn one third of his salary going forward.

The Senate vote assures pay hikes will be part of end-of-session negotiations next month.

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