Minnesota state government salary

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State Information

This article describes the compensation, salaries and benefits that Minnesota's public employees receive from state and local government. Minnesota statute 471.701 requires that cities and counties with more than 15,000 people reveal the base salaries of their three highest-paid employees either on a website, for 90 days in a publication or as part of the annual notice of proposed property taxes.[1] This statute doesn't apply to school officials or doctors.[2]

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, Minnesota state legislators earned $31,140.90 per year.[3] As of 2012, senators receive a per diem of $96 and Representatives received $66 per legislative day.[4]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[5]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $120,303 Mark Dayton
Lieutenant Governor $78,197 Yvonne Prettner Solon
Secretary of State $90,227 Mark Ritchie
Attorney General $114,228 Lori Swanson

As of 2008, the salary of Minnesota's governor ranked 29th among U.S. governors' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. governors was $128,735. The median salary earned by U.S. governors was $129,962.[6]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
'Minnesota judicial salaries[7]
Position '09 salary Current justice
Associate Justice $160,579 David Stras
Associate Justice $145,981 Alan Page
Associate Justice $145,981 Paul Anderson
Associate Justice $145,981 Wilhelmina Wright
Associate Justice $145,981 G. Barry Anderson
Chief Justice $145,981 Lorie Skjerven Gildea
Associate Justice $145,981 Christopher Dietzen

As of 2010, the salary of Minnesota's chief justice ranked 20th among U.S. chief justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $154,707. The median salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $151,284.

As of 2010, the salaries of Minnesota's associate justices ranked 26th among U.S. associate justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $149,687. The median salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $145,983.

State and local employees

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the Minnesota and local governments in the state employed a total of 360,790 people.[8] Of those employees, 232,388 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,043,514,803 per month and 128,402 were part-time employees paid $143,995,658 per month.[8] More than 54% of those employees, or 196,977 employees, were in education or higher education.[8]

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries are negotiated through collective bargaining. There is a January 15 deadline for contract negotiations.[9]

Teacher salaries[10]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$32,315 $51,938

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, in the 2008/2009 school year the average teacher salary was $52,414. The average principal salary in state elementary schools was $93,711; however, the average principal salary in state middle schools was $98,779. The average principal salary in state high schools was $90,411.[11]

School year Avg. teacher salary Avg. principal salary (elem.) Avg. principal salary (middle) Avg. principal salary (high)
2008-09 $52,414[11] $93,711[11] $98,779[11] $90,411[11]
2007-08 $50,345[12] $90,743[12] $96,023[12] $88,511[12]
2006-07 $49,718[13] $89,684.27[13] $93,670.22[13] $86,893.75[13]

State employee benefits

Minnesota state employees receive many benefits.



Under a single plan design, the Advantage Plan, eligible employees and their dependents may choose among three health insurance carriers: Blue Cross Blue Shield, HealthPartners and Preferred One. The plan includes a first dollar-deductible, co-pay for all visits except preventive, prescription drug program and clinic locations throughout the state and bordering communities.[14] The approximate monthly cost for full-time employees is $0 for single coverage and $130 for family coverage.[15]


Eligible employees and their dependents may choose between two dental carriers; HealthPartners and the State Dental Plan. Each plan provides comprehensive coverage for most conditions requiring dental diagnosis and treatment, including orthodontic treatment for children. Both plans also cover a broad range of preventive services.[14] The approximate monthly cost for full-time employees is $5 for single coverage and $30 for family coverage.[15]


The state offers basic term life insurance based upon an employee's annual salary at no cost to insurance eligible employees. To managers, the life insurance offered is equal to 1.5 or 2 times annual salary.[14]

Additional insurance options

Additional term life insurance is available to employees, spouses and eligible dependents at a minimal cost. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance provides coverage in the event of an accident. This optional benefit is available to both employees and spouses. Two optional disability plans are available: short-term and long-term disability insurance provides the employee with income protection in the event that the employee becomes disabled from a covered accident, sickness or pregnancy. Long-term care insurance is also available.[14][16]


See also: Minnesota public pensions

State employees are automatically enrolled in a retirement plan through the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). The General Plan is the largest plan administered by the MSRS. As a member of this program, the employee receives a state contribution toward his/her retirement fund that matches his/her own contribution of approximately 4.75 percent of his/her salary.[16]

The Deferred Compensation Program is another way to save for retirement and defer taxes. With this program, a portion of the employee's income is deposited in a tax-deferred account. A wide variety of investment options is available to help the employee meet his/her retirement objectives.[17]


Full-time permanent employees accrue 13 vacation days each year through the first five years of employment. As an employee's length of service with the state increases, so does the amount of vacation time accrued. Part-time employees receive vacation leave based on hours worked.[16]


Full-time employees receive 13 days per year. Part-time employees receive sick leave based on hours worked.[16]


There are 10 paid holidays and one personal holiday each year.[16]

Other benefits

Pre-tax accounts

The following benefits allow employees to pay for certain expenses with money deducted before tax from their paychecks. If enrolled in a pre-tax account, employees are taxed less and take-home pay may be more.[14]

  • Dependent Day Care Expense Account
  • Medical/Dental Expense Account
  • Transit Expense Account
  • Medical premiums
  • Dental premiums
  • Payroll parking premiums

State Employees, Inc.(SEI) is a non-profit organization that offers state employee members entertainment and other valuable discounts. An SEI membership includes a membership in the Minnesota Employee Recreation and Services Council (MERSC). There are many discounts on various services, event tickets, recreation, restaurants, travel and more.[18]

Minnesota Life offers three value-added benefits to employees at no cost.

Will preparation and legal services - Phone access to a national network of accredited attorneys for consultation on simple wills, estate planning documents and other legal issues.[16]

Travel assistance– Available 24/7 when traveling more than 100 miles from home for business or pleasure. Includes assistance to locate and access physicians, dentists, medical facilities, and pharmacies; arrange and pay for a medical evacuation or return of mortal remains; and provides interpreters.[19]

Beneficiary financial counseling – Beneficiaries who receive at least $25,000 in policy benefits may use an independent beneficiary counseling service through Pricewaterhouse Coopers. They offer advice and counsel with the beneficiary's written consent.[16]

Additional reading

External links