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Reality Check: Pay Hikes At The Capitol

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Thousands of campaign mailers are showing up at homes, making a politically inflammatory claim.

The fliers say Minnesota House Republicans voted to raise their own pay by 45 percent.

However, here is the catch: It is not true – and it is deliberately deceptive.

Here are the facts: Minnesota's part-time lawmakers did not get a raise for 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. And then they got a big one.

Before you pass judgment, remember – you approved it.

Reality Check DFL Mailer About GOP Pay Hike
(credit: CBS)

During the 2016 election, 76 percent of Minnesota voters said "yes" to a new constitutional amendment. It created an independent "Salary Council" so nervous lawmakers would never have to raise their own pay. And that is exactly what the council did.

The pay hike that lawmakers got was a doozy: a jump from $31,000 a year to $45,000. So, what does all that have to do with all those campaign flyers hitting your mailbox?

The Minnesota DFL Party points to this 2018 vote as proof Republicans voted for a pay hike. But it is not true. It is not a vote for a pay hike, or to fund a pay hike. It is a vote to restore funding after DFL Governor Mark Dayton line-item vetoed the legislature's budget.

In fact, Republican leaders tried to stop the pay hike but ran into legal obstacles.

Here is what you need to know: No Republicans -- or Democrats -- ever voted to give themselves a pay hike. And despite all the political hand-wringing and finger pointing, every single Minnesota lawmaker took the raise.

Republicans have a majority of members in the Minnesota House. The entire House is up for election this fall.

Here Are Some of the Source That we Used For This Reality Check:

MN Vote for Salary Council Constitutional Amendment

Law Setting Up MN Salary Structure

MN Journal of the House, Feb 22, 2018, Page 7108

MN House Speaker Daudt Looks to Reject Pay Hike

MN House File 399, House Budget Bill

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