Republican lawmaker introduces bill to cap Minneapolis City Council salaries

    The Minneapolis City Hall clock tower covered in snow in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster/Minnesota Reformer.

    Rep. Patrick Garofalo, R-Farmington, is proposing to cap Minneapolis City Council salaries at $71,306, the state median household income. Minneapolis City Council members currently earn $106,101 per year.

    “Salaries for the Minneapolis City Council are completely out of touch when compared to other large cities statewide,” Garofalo said in a press release. “It is unacceptable that the Minneapolis City council continues to collect salaries in excess of $100,000. The fact that they do this as they move to defund police and fail to provide basic services for residents is unconscionable.”

    As progressives have increasingly turned to local government to advance their agenda, Republicans in the Legislature have frequently sought to stamp it out, often at odds with their stated preference for “local control.” 

    The GOP-controlled Legislature in 2017 banned cities from banning single-use plastic bags. In the recent past, Republicans have also taken on pro-labor and immigration “sanctuary” policies in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This session they’re aiming at a potential rent control ballot initiative in Minneapolis.

    The four largest cities after Minneapolis are St. Paul, where council members make $68,203; Rochester, at $39,420; Duluth, $13,800; and Bloomington, $29,616. 

    The bill was introduced on Monday and referred to the State Finance and Government Elections committee, though it’s unlikely to pass the DFL-majority House.

    Gracie Stockton
    Gracie Stockton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She was awarded the 2021 Kaufman scholarship from the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication and joined the Reformer as an intern. Gracie also studies theatre and Russian, and is an artist in her free time.