Minnesota Citizens Convene to Start Deciding Lawmaker Pay
ST. PAUL (AP) - Sixteen Minnesota citizens are taking up the question of how much the state's lawmakers should be paid.
The group that held its first meeting Wednesday was created as a result of voters in November deciding that a council, rather than lawmakers, should set lawmakers' salaries.
The first meeting was largely introductory. The nine men and seven women from around the state talked a lot about how Minnesota salaries compare to other states.
Minnesota's part-time legislators make about $31,000, although they get other benefits such as per diems for expenses. That hasn't changed for nearly two decades, and some members raised concerns at Wednesday's meeting that lower-income Minnesotans might be priced out of trying to hold elected office.
It's rare for a citizen body to fully control lawmaker pay.