Letter to the Editor: Sen. Sparks Legislative Salary

“Now that the state shutdown is over, I think it is important for the hard-working men and women in the district I am honored to represent to know that I am not accepting any compensation for the time that the government was shut down. I never believed I should accept a salary when so many other Minnesotans weren’t, and I took immediate action in July to stop my Senate paycheck. That full story was never reported, however.

I worked through the last minutes of June believing we would find a solution to this budget problem and that Republican leaders would agree to one of Governor Dayton’s compromises. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

When the state shutdown occurred, I asked to reject my paycheck during the shutdown, but it was too late – July paychecks already had been issued. I then told the Senate I would like to withhold August pay instead, but now I am told it is not possible because the shutdown is over and all salaries are required to be paid.

Therefore, I am donating my earnings from the time of the shutdown to the United Way of Freeborn and Mower Counties. I attended a meeting on June 21, where local nonprofit agencies told me how the state shutdown would affect their ability to care for families in our area. I believe donating my salary to the United Way is the next best option – it keeps the dollars local and helps support our communities.

My commitment to this job remains to you and our communities – not the money – and I hope this donation reflects that pursuit.”


Senator Dan Sparks
Dan Sparks represents District 27, which includes all or portions of Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, and Steele counties in the southeastern part of the state.

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