Political Feud Reopens as Dayton Sets Agency Head Pay

Raises Postponed in February

Gov. Mark Dayton was preparing to announce pay raises for his state agency commissioners as Republicans were warning exorbitant increases would become a campaign issue next year.

Dayton had a slim window Wednesday to unilaterally set commissioner salaries before the Legislature asserts authority to approve or block future raises.

In February, lawmakers forced Dayton to temporarily back off steep raises.

The Democratic governor has said higher salaries are needed to make top positions competitive with the private sector and local government posts.

But Republicans say Dayton’s prior raises were out of step with slower growth in family incomes.

Recently reached state employee union pacts call for 2.5 percent salary increases for most state employees.

Senate Minority Leader David Hann says big raises would become a 2016 campaign topic.
 

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