Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he's waiting to talk to Gov. Mark Dayton before saying anything more about a deal struck last week to delay pay raises for Dayton's cabinet and restore control of commissioner pay to the Legislature.
Bakk said the two will meet Wednesday for breakfast. Bakk said he is not necessarily against the deal that was negotiated between legislative leaders and Dayton and that passed the House last week, but he wants to hear from Dayton directly.
The two have been feuding over the salary issue, in which Dayton awarded his commissioners significant raises, some as much as about $35,000, bringing the top salaries to about $155,000.
There's urgency because a stop-gap spending bill is currently being held hostage by the commissioner salary controversy. The emergency spending bill will provide three state agencies about $15 million to pay for last year’s Ebola virus response, more staffing at the troubled Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter and a weather -related budget shortfall at the Minnesota Zoo, among other items.
The Senate voted Monday to appoint a conference committee to hold hearings and work out differences with the House legislation. The House will likely do the same later today.