Associated Press, Published May 18 2013
MN House passes lawmaker pay hike panelST. PAUL — The Minnesota House voted Friday to take the politically charged decisions about their salaries out of their own hands, approving a constitutional amendment that would ask voters if there should be an independent state council to set legislative pay.
The House passed the proposed amendment by a 69-62 vote, with all House Republicans and four Democrats opposed. If passed by the Senate, the amendment would go on the 2016 ballot.
“I don't think we should vote on our own pay,” said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. “I think we should take it out of our hands. I think the citizens of Minnesota will support that.”
The amendment had eight Republican co-sponsors, but they joined the rest of their GOP colleagues in opposing its passage. Republicans criticized Democrats for taking up the amendment Friday, with the session due to wrap up Monday and votes still upcoming on the bills that make up the state budget.
“We're focused on the salaries of Minnesota legislators with three days to go, and no budget passed,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa. “This is legislative greed. This is legislative overreach.”