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Handful of public employee group compensation plans clear state government committee

Compensation packages for nearly 3,500 employees across five units received strong support Thursday.

Agreements with the quintet were approved by the House State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee via HF4310 and sent to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Approved by the bipartisan Subcommittee on Employee Relations in December, each is for the 2024-25 biennium, and effective retroactively to July 1, 2023. Affected employees are not covered by collective bargaining agreements.

“We need to make sure that we’re retaining our talent,” said Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul), the bill sponsor.

Four of the five agreements negotiated through Minnesota Management and Budget — Commissioner’s Plan, Managerial Plan, Office of Higher Education Unclassified Personnel Compensation Plan, and MNsure Compensation Plan — call for 5.5% salary increases effective July 1, 2023, and 4.5% on July 1, 2024. Among other provisions, are performance-based increases in all, and employer match contributions to deferred compensation would increase for three of the four.

The Minnesota State Administrators Plan includes 2.5% increases each year of the current biennium, merit-based increase pool, and salary ranges would increase 5% each year.

[MORE: Summary of plans and costs]

Funding changes will come from the current biennial operating budgets of Minnesota Management and Budget and Minnesota State.

“For MMB that’s about $69 million, that’s a 7.68% increase, and an average of 10.16% increase from the 2024-25 biennium to the 2026-27 biennium,” said Nick Nigro, a research analyst with the Legislative Coordinating Commission. It is $14.85 million this biennium for Minnesota State, a 6.82% increase, and 9.33% from this biennium to the next.

Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) issued words of caution moving forward when a state budget structural imbalance or deficit could be looming in the coming biennium.

“Decisions that we make here have to be considered,” he said. “We need to look at every nickel we spend moving forward this year of the biennium with that in mind. Money only comes from one place and that’s the taxpayer.”

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