An independent commission voted Friday to increase the annual salary for Minnesota legislators to $46,500, giving lawmakers their second raise in as many years.
The new salaries, which take effect July 1, reflect a 3 percent hike. Members of the Legislative Salary Council said the raise was necessary to keep up with cost of living increases and to attract diverse and talented Minnesotans to run for office.
In addition to the base salary, state legislators are eligible for thousands of dollars in additional payments meant to cover travel, lodging and living costs while working. The council’s report urges lawmakers to eliminate the current policy of offering a flat-rate per diem and offer reimbursements for specific work-related expenses instead.
Voters approved the creation of the Legislative Salary Council in 2016. The 16-member panel, appointed by the governor and chief justice of the state Supreme Court, meets every two years.
During its first meeting in 2017, members raised pay for legislators by about $14,000. That was the first raise for lawmakers in two decades.