Your tax dollars help pay their salaries, and a new report out has just listed the highest-paid public employee in every state. Can you guess who's the highest paid here in Minnesota?

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If you'd say it was the Governor (Mark Dayton-- at least through the rest of this year, anyway), you'd be wrong. Though the state's chief executive pulls down a respectable $127,629 a year, that position isn't the highest paid employee in the state.

Neither is the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, who at $172,012, actually earns MORE than the Governor. And the President of the University of Minnesota (who earns a whopping $625,250!) isn't the highest paid, either, though you're getting closer.

According to THIS story, it's actually the University of Minnesota men's basketball coach, Richard Pitino, who's the state's highest-paid employee in the state. The story explains why:

"Pitino extended his contract as the Minnesota men's basketball coach through 2021-22 season to include $1.7 million in bonuses on top of his $1.6 base salary. He's one of the highest-paid Big Ten coaches," it noted.

And, Gopher's football coach P.J. Fleck isn't doing too badly, either, earning a base salary of a million dollars. Which puts him just under Pitino. However, with incentives and other bonuses, this story says Fleck will actually earn about $3.5 million a year, which puts him slightly above Pitino in total compensation.

I'm all for the U of M having competitive athletic programs. And to do that, of course, you have to pay the big bucks to get the top-notch coaches-- which is what every other state is doing, too. (In fact, in most states, it's the state college football coach who's the highest-paid state employee.)

But something still seems a bit off to me when you see just how much money these big-time coaches are earning compared to the actual state officers whose decisions actually affect our lives, am I right?

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