Last year Minnesotans had the option to vote in favor of creating an entirely unaccountable council to decide when politicians should get a raise. A lot of people were suckered into voting for this because they thought it would take away the politicians’ ability to vote themselves raises willy nilly. Opponents of the ballot initiative pointed out that giving such power to an entirely unaccountable council would lead to politicians receiving more frequent wages. Not surprisingly, the opponents of the initiative were right:
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers will get their first raise since 1999 after a newly created citizen council voted Friday to increase annual pay for members of the Legislature to $45,000 — a roughly 45 percent pay bump.
The Legislative Salary Council’s 13-1 vote increases lawmaker pay beginning in July, making Minnesota’s part-time Legislature among the highest paid in the country. Minnesota voters themselves set the increase in motion in November, overwhelmingly approving a constitutional amendment that removed lawmakers’ ability to set their own pay and instead handed the power to an independent council.
I wish somebody would vote a 45 percent wage increase for me!
Before the existence of the council, legislators who voted to give themselves wages might face some punishment from voters. Now there’s nobody to punish so legislator wages can go up and up! Isn’t democracy great?