ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Sixteen Minnesota citizens are taking up the question of how much the state's lawmakers should be paid.

The group that held its first meeting Wednesday was created as a result of voters in November deciding that a council, rather than lawmakers, should set lawmakers' salaries.

The first meeting was largely introductory. The nine men and seven women from around the state talked a lot about how Minnesota salaries compare to other states.

Minnesota's part-time legislators make about $31,000, although they get other benefits such as per diems for expenses. That hasn't changed for nearly two decades, and some members raised concerns at Wednesday's meeting that lower-income Minnesotans might be priced out of trying to hold elected office.

It's rare for a citizen body to fully control lawmaker pay.


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