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138 Minnesota Lawmakers Are Accepting Pay Despite Shutdown

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 11, 2011

This weekend, The Minnesota Star Tribune printed a list of 138 legislators who are still collecting paychecks despite the state government shut down. The paper reports that Gov. Mark Dayton, as well as 14 senators and 48 representatives, announced they would not accept pay as long as the shutdown lasts.

But that means that 72 percent of Republicans are still cashing their paychecks and 65 percent of Democratic-Farmer-Labor party members are still getting paid.

The AP reports that news has angered some public employees.

“None of them should be getting paid,” Mike Lindholt, a furloughed Department of Transportation maintenance worker told the AP. “If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. That’s how it is for most people.”

But perhaps the news making the most noise is that Gov. Dayton has declared about half his staff “essential” — including his personal chef and a housekeeper. The AP reports:

Republicans have ridiculed Dayton over the fact that the housekeeper and personal chef at the governor’s mansion were deemed “critical” employees, prompting the governor’s office to announce that Dayton would pay the chef out of his own pocket.

As for the housekeeper, Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said the governor’s residence is a public building that’s nearly 100 years old.

It “requires a significant amount of maintenance and upkeep,” she said. “So it is being staffed at minimal levels during the shutdown.”

[Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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