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Expecting state employee salary boost, North Dakota legislators vote to increase their pay

“The Pioneer Family” stands in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

BISMARCK — North Dakota legislators voted to boost their pay by 2 percent in each of the next two fiscal years Thursday, Sept. 13, a move that one top lawmaker hopes will set the "tone" for future salary increases for state employees.

The Legislative Procedure and Arrangements Committee's bipartisan vote was meant to help set the branch's budget request and is subject to change.

Since 2007, lawmakers have adjusted their pay by the same percentage that they did for state employee salaries. Employees did not receive pay increases in the 2017-19 biennium and lawmakers didn't adjust their own pay.

"We understand fully that our state employees should not be at zero and zero again in the next session," said House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo.

A 2 percent increase would boost monthly legislator pay from $495 to $505 in mid-2019 and then $515 in mid-2020. Daily compensation during the session and interim meetings would jump from $177 to $181 and $185.

Gov. Doug Burgum has called for budget cuts but signaled support for employee raises. Lawmakers will meet in session and set budgets for the 2019-21 biennium starting in January.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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