State-private Pay Bill Becomes A Study

A proposal to require public employees to be paid equivalent to private workers was reduced to a study Wednesday.

Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina, originally wanted state law to change public pay packages to be close to what private business pays. But during a House committee meeting, an amendment that he proposed gutted the measure.

“The purpose of it is to part the clouds and hopefully answer, once and for all … this overriding question that we always seem to come back with, and this is, ‘Are we fairly compensating our employees here in state government?’” Downey said.

The House State Government Finance Committee approved the amended bill 12-8, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against.