Senate OKs pension boost, ratifies public worker contracts 27 Mar 18

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Senate has signed off on raises for the state’s 30,000 public employees and voted to plug a budget shortfall in state pension plans.

Underfunded pensions and state employee contracts have been controversial at the Capitol for years. Republicans on a legislative panel last fall rejected new contracts with a 2 percent raise for state workers, arguing they were too large. And Dayton vetoed last year’s attempt to shore up nearly $30 million in unfunded pension liabilities for this year because it was lumped in with other, more controversial measures.

The GOP-controlled Senate overwhelmingly approved both measures Monday, including a unanimous vote to increase pension funding while making some cost-saving cuts.

But it’s unclear if and when the House will follow suit. Neither bill has advanced in that chamber.