Fourteen MNSure managers made $26,000 in bonuses in November while the health care exchange website they were charged with rolling out struggled through a number of technical issues, state officials recently announced.
That revelation prompted Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, to fire off a stern letter to Governor Dayton comparing the bonuses to "the worst excesses of Wall Street."
"During the legislative process that led to MNSure's creation, Republicans expressed serious concerns about exempting management from normal rules governing state salaries," Hoppe writes. "It appears these concerns were warranted."
But Dayton sought to distance himself from the situation, much as he did last month when then-MNSure Executive Director April Todd-Malmov ended up resigning amid a controversy about a tropical vacation.
"By law, MNsure operates independently of the Governor. It is led by an Executive Director and governed by an appointed Board of Directors," Dayton's press secretary, Matt Swenson, said in a statement. "They have complete authority to set and administer MNsure's personnel policies. The Governor's Office was neither involved in, nor aware, of MNsure's bonuses."