Difference between revisions of "Minnesota House of Representatives"

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===Open States Transparency===
{{Transparency card|State=Minnesota|Grade=C}}
{{Transparency card|State=Minnesota|Grade=C}}

Revision as of 12:10, 9 July 2013

Minnesota House of Representatives

Seal of Minnesota.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Paul Thissen, (D)
Majority Leader:   Erin Murphy, (D)
Minority Leader:   Kurt Daudt, (R)
Members:  134
   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 6, 2012 (134 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (134 seats)
Redistricting:  Legislature has control
Meeting place:
Minnesota capitol.gif
The Minnesota House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Minnesota State Legislature which meets at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. 134 members serve in the House of Representatives with two representatives per house district numbered as "1A" and "1B" for example. Each member represents an average of 39,582 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 36,713 residents.[2] All representatives are up for re-election every two years. State representatives are paid a salary of $31,140 per year. During the regular legislative session, legislators can be reimbursed up to $77 per day for travel and living expenses when away from home. Legislators can collect the "per diem" payments seven days a week during the legislative session, whether or not they are actually at the state house. The per diem payments are included toward the recipient's pension and can add more than forty percent to some members' income. [3] [4]

As of April 2015, Minnesota is one of 7 Democratic 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 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 20.

Major Issues

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.[5]

Tax increase

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 increases cigarette taxes by $1.60 per pack and creates a higher income tax rate for upper-income earners. The bill creates a tax rate of 9.85 percent for individuals earning $150,000 per year and couples earning $250,000 per year. Increased revenue will be used to fund early childhood education programs, assist in building a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and fill a $627 million budget deficit.[6][7]

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.[6] 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.[6]


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 4th to March 17th. [8]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

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.[9]



See also: Minnesota House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Minnesota House of Representatives were held in Minnesota on November 6, 2012. All 134 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 5, 2012. The primary election day was August 14, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Minnesota House of Representatives elections, 2010

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. 33 of the 72 Republican members elected on November 2 are new to the house.[10]

In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $6,377,405 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [11]


To be eligible to run for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2010, a candidate must be:[12]

  • 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 by January 3, 2011
  • A resident of Minnesota for a least one year
  • A resident of the legislative district for at least 6 months before November 2, 2010


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

Under Minnesota law, any vacancy in the House must be filled by a special election. It is up to the appropriate elections authorities to conduct an election as soon as possible[13].

A special election must be held during the next general election if the vacancy has more than 150 days left before the unfilled term expires. If the vacancy happens in legislative session, the Governor must call for an election no more than 35 days after the vacancy occurred. If there is less than 150 days left in the unfilled term and the Legislature is out of session, the Governor must call for a special election. The Governor must call the election as soon as possible so the winner of the election can take office when the Legislature reconvenes[14].


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.

2010 census

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.[15]

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.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 62
     Republican Party 72
Total 134

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Minnesota State House of Representatives from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Minnesota State House.PNG


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.[16][17]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Minnesota House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Paul Thissen Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Leader Erin Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Jason Isaacson Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Leon Lillie Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Diane Loeffler Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Carly Melin Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Leader Kim Norton Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt Ends.png Republican
State House Deputy Minority Leader Jenifer Loon Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Whip Tim Sanders Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Steve Drazkowski Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Tara Mack Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schomacker Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Peggy Scott Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Paul Torkelson Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Leader Kelby Woodard Ends.png Republican


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.[18]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Minnesota legislators assume office the first day of biennial (2-year) session.[19] Minnesota law provides that: "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." [20]

Current members

Current members, Minnesota House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1A Dan Fabian Ends.png Republican 2011
1B Debra Kiel Ends.png Republican 2011
2A Roger A. Erickson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
2B Steve Green Ends.png Republican 2013
3A David Dill Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
3B Mary Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic 1977
4A Ben Lien Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4B Paul Marquart Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
5A John Persell Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
5B Tom Anzelc Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
6A Carly Melin Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
6B Jason Metsa Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
7A Thomas Huntley Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
7B Erik Simonson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
8A Bud Nornes Ends.png Republican 1997
8B Mary Franson Ends.png Republican 2011
9A Mark Anderson Ends.png Republican 2013
9B Ron Kresha Ends.png Republican 2013
10A John Ward Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
10B Joe Radinovich Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
11A Mike Sundin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
11B Tim Faust Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12A Jay McNamar Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12B Paul Anderson Ends.png Republican 2009
13A Jeff Howe Ends.png Republican 2013
13B Tim O'Driscoll Ends.png Republican 2011
14A Tama Theis Ends.png Republican 2013
14B Zach Dorholt Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
15A Sondra Erickson Ends.png Republican 2011
15B Jim Newberger Ends.png Republican 2013
16A Chris Swedzinski Ends.png Republican 2011
16B Paul Torkelson Ends.png Republican 2009
17A Andrew Falk Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
17B Mary Sawatzky Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
18A Dean Urdahl Ends.png Republican 2003
18B Glenn Gruenhagen Ends.png Republican 2011
19A Clark Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
19B Kathy Brynaert Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
20A Kelby Woodard Ends.png Republican 2011
20B David Bly Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
21A Tim Kelly Ends.png Republican 2009
21B Steve Drazkowski Ends.png Republican 2007
22A Joe Schomacker Ends.png Republican 2011
22B Rod Hamilton Ends.png Republican 2005
23A Bob Gunther Ends.png Republican 1995
23B Tony Cornish Ends.png Republican 2003
24A John Petersburg Ends.png Republican 2013
24B Patti Fritz Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
25A Duane Quam Ends.png Republican 2011
25B Kim Norton Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
26A Tina Liebling Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
26B Mike Benson Ends.png Republican 2011
27A Shannon Savick Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
27B Jeanne Poppe Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
28A Gene Pelowski, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
28B Gregory Davids Ends.png Republican 2008
29A Joe McDonald Ends.png Republican 2011
29B Marion O'Neill Ends.png Republican 2013
30A Nick Zerwas Ends.png Republican 2013
30B David FitzSimmons Ends.png Republican 2013
31A Kurt Daudt Ends.png Republican 2011
31B Tom Hackbarth Ends.png Republican 1999
32A Brian Johnson Ends.png Republican 2013
32B Bob Barrett Ends.png Republican 2011
33A Jerry Hertaus Ends.png Republican 2013
33B Cindy Pugh Ends.png Republican 2013
34A Joyce Peppin Ends.png Republican 2005
34B Kurt Zellers Ends.png Republican 2003
35A Jim Abeler Ends.png Republican 1999
35B Peggy Scott Ends.png Republican 2009
36A Mark Uglem Ends.png Republican 2013
36B Melissa Hortman Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
37A Jerry Newton Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
37B Tim Sanders Ends.png Republican 2009
38A Linda Runbeck Ends.png Republican 2011
38B Matt Dean Ends.png Republican 2005
39A Bob Dettmer Ends.png Republican 2007
39B Kathy Lohmer Ends.png Republican 2011
40A Michael Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
40B Debra Hilstrom Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
41A Connie Bernardy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
41B Carolyn Laine Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
42A Barb Yarusso Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
42B Jason Isaacson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
43A Peter Fischer Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
43B Leon Lillie Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
44A Sarah Anderson Ends.png Republican 2007
44B John Benson Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
45A Lyndon Carlson Electiondot.png Democratic 1973
45B Mike Freiberg Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
46A Ryan Winkler Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
46B Steve Simon Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
47A Ernie Leidiger Ends.png Republican 2011
47B Joe Hoppe Ends.png Republican 2003
48A Yvonne Selcer Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
48B Jenifer Loon Ends.png Republican 2009
49A Ron Erhardt Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
49B Paul Rosenthal Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
50A Linda Slocum Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
50B Ann Lenczewski Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
51A Sandra Masin Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
51B Laurie Halverson Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
52A Rick Hansen Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
52B Joe Atkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
53A Joann Ward Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
53B Andrea Kieffer Ends.png Republican 2011
54A Dan Schoen Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
54B Denny McNamara Ends.png Republican 2003
55A Michael Beard Ends.png Republican 2003
55B Tony Albright Ends.png Republican 2013
56A Pam Myhra Ends.png Republican 2011
56B Will Morgan Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
57A Tara Mack Ends.png Republican 2009
57B Anna Wills Ends.png Republican 2013
58A Mary Liz Holberg Ends.png Republican 1999
58B Pat Garofalo Ends.png Republican 2005
59A Joe Mullery Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
59B Raymond Dehn Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
60A Diane Loeffler Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
60B Phyllis Kahn Electiondot.png Democratic 1973
61A Frank Hornstein Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
61B Paul Thissen Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
62A Karen Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 1981
62B Susan Allen Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
63A Jim Davnie Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
63B Jean Wagenius Electiondot.png Democratic 1987
64A Erin Murphy Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
64B Michael Paymar Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
65A Rena Moran Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
65B Carlos Mariani Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
66A Alice Hausman Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
66B John Lesch Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
67A Tim Mahoney Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
67B Sheldon Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2001

Standing committees


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Minnesota’’
Partisan breakdown of the Minnesota legislature from 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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Minnesota state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states
  3. Minnesota State Legislature, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature"
  4. WCCO-TV, Reality Check: Who's Getting The Most Per Diem?, January 14, 2009
  5. minnesota.publicradio.org, "Minnesota Legislature preview: 10 issues to watch," January 4, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Minnesota House of Representatives, "Property tax relief, new fourth tier rate highlight conferred tax bill," May 20, 2013
  7. Wall Street Journal, "States' Rift on Taxes Widens," May 23, 2013
  8. Article on session adjourning
  9. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  10. Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Freshman class already making its mark in St. Paul", January 31, 2011
  11. Follow the Money: "Minnesota House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  12. 2010 Guide for Candidates
  13. Minnesota Revisor of Statutes "Minnesota Election Law"(Referenced Statute 351.055)
  14. Minnesota Revisor of Statutes "Minnesota Election Law"(Referenced Statute 204D.19 (1)-(3))
  15. 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. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  16. Rules of the Minnesota House of Representatives - Article VII: Officers of the House
  17. Minnesota House Leadership
  18. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  19. Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 3, Section 3.05
  20. Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 3, Section 3.011