The Democrat-controlled Minnesota House has ratified new state employee contracts that include a July 1st pay raise — but a showdown is ahead with Republicans who say the state can’t afford it.   House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler responds now is *not* the time to go after employees the state is counting on:

“Layoffs and wage cuts are not going to help the economy. Nobody is going to be helped by more people making less money.”

But House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (DOWT) says:

“Democrats, please open your eyes to what situation that we’re in right now. It’s not your fault. It’s not anybody’s fault. But we cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend like this does not exist.”

Republicans, who control the Minnesota Senate, have significant leverage because if the legislature does *not* approve the new contracts, state employees’ pay goes back to what it was before July 1st of last year — basically a pay cut. Top Republicans say a pay raise that took effect last year should stay in place, but the state can’t afford to give its employees another raise this year.