House Democrats voted for a bill (HF2768) yesterday that gives government employees in Minnesota a pay increase while the private sector is seeing unprecedented job losses and a contracting economy. The bill covers salaries of employees in the state's various agencies, including pay increases for those in Universities.
The 74-60 vote did not receive any Republican support and one Democrat, Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), voted with the Republicans against the bill.
Many accuse House Democrats like Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee) of being tone deaf to the current struggles of the private sector which is experiencing an unemployment rate in Minnesota of over 20%. Erik Mortensen, the Republican challenger against Tabke, stated "my wife and I have volunteered to take pay cuts to help save jobs within our companies. This is utter BS!"
The bill is not likely to pass in the Minnesota Senate unless the Democrats use it as part of their bargaining for the final legislative session deal. Legislators have until 11:59 pm on Sunday to pass legislation before the constitutionally mandated adjournment.