Lawmakers discuss council on touchy pay issue - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Lawmakers discuss council on touchy pay issue

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- There will be talk about lawmaker pay at the state Capitol, but the salaries of legislators aren't budging anytime soon.

The House planned to debate a bill Thursday that would dictate the composition and role of a special independent pay council. The board would be established if voters adopt a constitutional amendment in 2016 to remove power of lawmakers to set their pay.

The measure's backers say it removes an inherent conflict of interest and takes a politically charged matter out of the Capitol. Opponents see it as camouflage for near-certain pay hikes and argue it lessens accountability.

Legislators haven't seen a pay raise since 1999, and some worry that the $31,000 salary is become a barrier for some prospective candidates. Lawmaker pay is supplemented by expense allowances during session.

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