Legislative salaries and the amendment

Dear Editor:
This letter is to provide further comment on the subject of Mr. Anderson’s letter printed in the March 29, 2017 edition of the News.

As a member of the electorate, I too, voted in favor of the amendment to the State Constitution that would create a bipartisan citizen council to review and set legislative salaries rather than the legislature, itself. The goal of the amendment was to remove the issue of salaries from the political realm and eliminate them from being used as a weapon by one party against the other, especially in an election. As the letter writer noted, Speaker Daudt and members of his caucus seem to be discounting the voice of the electorate who passed this amendment at 76 percent.

But there is more at play here—an opinion piece appearing in the March 16, 2017 Star Tribune from a former legislator and district chairman of the 2016 Trump for President campaign in Minnesota challenges the validity of the amendment and indicates that the pay increase is becoming a “grass roots” issue in the Republican Party to be debated by the Minnesota Central Committee at its meeting in April.

He continues that if Speaker Daudt or Senate Majority Leader Gazelka “successfully lead their members to a miraculous rejection of the proposed pay raise, it might even pave the way for one of them to be elected governor in 2018.”

It seems that the attempt of the Amendment to remove pay raises from the political realm was unsuccessful even though it passed by majority vote. Hopefully the courts will receive this issue for determination and vindicate the voice of the electorate. As I recall, the electorate does not consist solely of Republican voters.

E M Stitz
Cambridge