Minnesota House of Representatives
|Minnesota House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 6, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Kurt Daudt (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Joyce Peppin (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Paul Thissen (DFL)|
Democratic Party (62)
Republican Party (72)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Minnesota Constitution|
|Salary:||$31,140.90/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (134 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (134 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of March 2015, Minnesota is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Minnesota Constitution establishes when the Minnesota State Legislature, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Section 12 of Article IV states that the Legislature is not to meet in regular session for more than 120 legislative days in each two-year period between legislative elections. Section 12 also does not allow the Legislature to meet in regular session after the first Monday following the third Saturday in May of any year. Within these limits, Section 12 allows the Legislature to decide its meeting dates by law.
As such, MN Statute 3.011 establishes that on odd numbered years the legislature must convene on the first Monday in January, unless that lands on January 1, in which case the legislature must convene by the first Wednesday after the first Monday. The legislature is required to set its own date for even numbered years.
Section 12 of Article IV states that the Governor of Minnesota can call special sessions of the Legislature on extraordinary occasions.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 6 through 18.
Major issues in the 2015 legislative session include how to manage a $1 billion surplus, a possible gasoline tax increase, road and bridge maintenance, education funding and the state health care exchange.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 25 through May 19.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 20.
Major issues during the 2013 legislative session included a tax bill, establishing a health care exchange, same-sex marriage, education funding, gun control, and oil fracking.
A bill designed to generate $2.1 billion in new revenue passed the House 69-65 and the Senate 36-30 on May 20, 2013. Governor Mark Dayton signed the tax bill into law on May 23, 2013. This legislation sponsored by Representative Ann Lenczewski and Senator Rod Skoe increased cigarette taxes by $1.60 per pack and created a higher income tax rate for upper-income earners. The bill created a tax rate of 9.85 percent for individuals earning $150,000 per year and couples earning $250,000 per year. Increased revenue was intended to fund early childhood education programs, assist in building a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and fill a $627 million budget deficit.
Critics of the tax increase expressed concerns about negative impacts on the state economy. "The bill says the state can spend your money better that you can. This is not a good bill. We are going in the wrong direction. We should be looking at how we can decrease the tax burden," argued Representative Kelby Woodard. Representative Bob Barrett argued against the income tax increase for upper-income earners. "We will now have the fourth-highest income tax rate in the country, and when you look how far down the ranks it goes we are second highest. That will have an impact on our economy, especially since we have border states with lower taxes," said Barrett.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 24 to May 10.
In 2011, the House was in session from January 4 through May 23.
In 2010, the House was in session from February 4 to March 17.
Role in state budget
- See also: Minnesota state budget and finances
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in May and June of the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in October.
- Agency hearings are held from September through December.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature on the fourth Tuesday in January (this deadline is extended to the third Tuesday in February for a newly elected governor).
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The biennium begins on July 1 of odd-numbered years.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Minnesota was one of the 10 states that used cost-benefit analysis more than the rest of the states with respect to determining return on investment regarding state programs. In addition, these states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis with respect to large budget areas and when making policy decisions.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Minnesota received a grade of D+ and a numerical score of 64, indicating that Minnesota was "lagging" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Minnesota was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election was held on August 12, 2014, and a general election took place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 3, 2014.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 8B||Mary Franson||0.1%||21,269||Bob Cunniff|
|District 56B||Will Morgan||0.8%||21,200||Roz Peterson|
|District 48A||Yvonne Selcer||0.8%||24,714||Kirk Stensrud|
|District 12A||Jay McNamar||1.2%||21,234||Scott Dutcher|
|District 10B||Joe Radinovich||1.5%||21,851||Dale Lueck|
|District 32B||Bob Barrett||1.9%||20,895||Rick Olseen|
|District 2B||Steve Green||2%||19,135||Brita Sailer|
|District 36A||Mark Uglem||2.2%||20,926||Grace Baltich|
|District 44A||Sarah Anderson||2.6%||23,620||Audrey Britton|
|District 11B||Tim Faust||2.7%||18,304||Ben Wiener|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives were held in Minnesota on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was July 20, 2010 and the primary Election Day was on August 10, 2010.
The November 2 elections resulted in the state house shifting from a Democratic majority to a Republican majority. Thirty-three of the 72 Republican members elected on November 2 were new to the House.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $6,377,405 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|Minnesota Telecom Alliance||$29,400|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$13,850|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Minnesota||$13,473|
|54th Senate District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party||$13,200|
|Freedom Club State PAC||$12,500|
|39th Senate District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party||$12,350|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 9, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $8,361,168. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|Afscme Minnesota Council 5||$29,300|
|Operating Engineers Local 49||$22,650|
|Minnesota Telecommunication Alliance||$19,125|
|39Th Senate District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party||$17,683|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$15,736|
|Minnesota Nurses Association||$15,700|
|Minneapolis Fire Fighters Relief Association||$15,700|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $7,533,257. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|Small Independent Telephone Companies||$23,000|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$18,675|
|St Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association||$16,000|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Minnesota||$15,764|
|Olmsted County Democrat-Farmer-Labor||$15,224|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 14, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $8,114,613. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Minnesota||$21,176|
|Small Independent Telephone Companies||$20,050|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$19,350|
|Friends Of Democrat-Farmer-Labor Women||$18,800|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 10, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $6,574,022. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|Minnesota Association Of Realtors||$21,500|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Minnesota||$19,764|
|Jobs Political Fund||$19,500|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$17,200|
|Minnesota Womens Campaign Fund||$15,500|
|Mah Mah Wi No Min||$14,250|
Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 12, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $6,590,160. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Minnesota House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Minnesota||$79,100|
|Minnesota Republican Party||$21,700|
|Lakes & Plains Regional Council Of Carpenters & Joiners||$21,000|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$20,800|
|Minnesota Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party||$18,782|
|Minnesota Association Of Realtors||$18,050|
To be eligible to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives, a candidate must be:
- Eligible to vote in Minnesota
- Have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election
- At least 21 years old
- A resident of Minnesota for at least one year
- A resident of the legislative district for at least 6 months before the general election date
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
In Minnesota, all vacancies in the house must be filled by a special election. It is up to the appropriate elections authorities to schedule an election as soon as possible. The election must be held during the next general election if there is more than 150 days left in the term. If the house is in session, a special election must be called by the Governor no later than 35 days after the vacancy happened. If a vacancy happens when the house is out of session and less than 150 days are left in the term, a special election must called by the Governor as soon as possible. This is to allow the winner of the election to be sworn in when the house reconvenes.
- See also: Redistricting in Minnesota
The Legislature handles redistricting, with the Governor holding veto power. Each chamber has its own redistricting committee, with a joint committee of two Republicans and two Democrats from each chamber.
Minnesota received its local census data on March 16, 2011. The state's population increased 7.8 percent, even though four of the five most populated cities showed slight decreases in population; only Rochester (pop. 106,769, up 24.4 percent) showed growth.
At the time of redistricting, Republicans controlled the Legislature, and Democrats the governorship; redistricting was expected to favor Republicans as Democrats held numerous underrepresented districts. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the legislative plan on May 19, 2011. In June 2011, a panel created by the Minnesota Supreme Court took over the process when it heard lawsuits over the matter, even though the Legislature's deadline of February 2012 had not yet come up. On February 21, 2012, the panel released a final map, pairing 30 incumbents in the House.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of March 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. Duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum, appointing the Chief Sergeant at Arms and signing all acts, address, joint resolutions, writs, warrants and subpoenas of the House.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Minnesota legislature are paid $31,140.90/year. Senators receive $96/day per diem while representatives receive $66/day. The rates are set by the legislature.
When sworn in
Minnesota legislators assume office the first day of the biennial (two-year) session. Minnesota law states, "The legislature shall meet at the seat of government on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each odd-numbered year. When the first Monday in January falls on January 1, it shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday. It shall also meet when called by the governor to meet in special session."
The Minnesota House of Representatives has 24 standing committees:
- Aging and Long-Term Care Policy
- Agriculture Finance
- Agriculture Policy
- Capital Investment
- Civil Law and Data Practices
- Commerce and Regulatory Reform
- Education Finance
- Education Innovation Policy
- Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance
- Government Operations and Elections Policy
- Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy
- Health and Human Services Finance
- Health and Human Services Reform
- Higher Education Policy and Finance
- Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance
- Legacy Funding Finance
- Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy
- Public Safety and Crime Prevention Finance and Policy
- Rules and Legislative Administration
- State Government Finance
- Transportation Policy and Finance
- Ways and Means
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Minnesota State House of Representatives for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for 10 years. For the final year of the study Minnesota was under a Democratic trifecta.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Minnesota state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Minnesota has been under divided government for the entirety of the study (1992-2012) until the state elected a Democratic trifecta in 2012. Minnesota also ranked in the top-5 of the SQLI ranking for the entirety of the study, reaching its lowest ranking (5th) in four separate years. The state hit the top spot twice, in 2011 and 2012, under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with divided government: 3.14
- Minnesota State Senate
- Governor of Minnesota
- Minnesota State Legislature
- Minnesota Constitution
- Official website of the Minnesota House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Minnesota House of Representatives
- Minnesota House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001
- Minnesota State Legislature, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature," accessed June 23, 2014
- WCCO, "Reality Check: Minn. Legislature Boosts Pay Out Of Public Eye," January 7, 2013
- Daily Globe, "Lawmakers face long list of issues," January 4, 2015
- Twin Cities Daily Planet, "Previewing the 2014 Minnesota legislative session: Issues and contrasting agendas," February 24, 2014
- KXLT, "Minnesota Legislature now in session," February 25, 2014
- Minnesota Public Radio, "Minnesota Legislature preview: 10 issues to watch," January 4, 2013
- Minnesota House of Representatives, "Property tax relief, new fourth tier rate highlight conferred tax bill," May 20, 2013
- Wall Street Journal, "States' Rift on Taxes Widens," May 23, 2013
- State Senator Dan Sparks, "Legislature balances budget, ends 2010 session," May 18, 2010
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Freshman class already making its mark in St. Paul," January 31, 2011
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2010 - Candidates," accessed June 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2008 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2006 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2004 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2002 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Minnesota 2000 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Minnesota Secretary of State, "Filing for Office," accessed June 23, 2014
- Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, "Minnesota Election Law," accessed December 17, 2013(Referenced Statute 351.055)
- Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, "Minnesota Election Law," accessed December 17, 2013 (Referenced Statute 204D.19 (1)-(3))
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Minnesota's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 16, 2011
- Minnesota House of Representatives, "Rules of the Minnesota House of Representatives - Article VII - Officers of the House," accessed June 23, 2014 (Referenced Rule 7.01)
- Minnesota House of Representatives, "Leadership of the Minnesota House of Representatives 2013 - 2014," accessed June 23, 2014
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Minnesota Statutes, "Chapter 3, Section 3.05," accessed December 17, 2013
- Minnesota Statutes, "Chapter 3, Section 3.011," accessed December 17, 2013
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