Minnesota House of Representatives
|Minnesota House of Representatives|
|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)|
| 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|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of January 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 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be 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 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.
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 4th to March 17th. 
Ethics and transparency
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 is 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.
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. 33 of the 72 Republican members elected on November 2 are 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 a 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 January 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 biennial (2-year) session. 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." 
- Agriculture Policy
- Capital Investment
- Civil Law
- Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy
- Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy
- Education Finance
- Education Policy
- Energy Policy
- Environment and Natural Resources Policy
- Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance
- Government Operations
- Health and Human Services Finance
- Health and Human Services Policy
- Higher Education Finance and Policy
- Housing Finance and Policy
- Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy
- Judiciary Finance and Policy
- Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries
- Public Safety Finance and Policy
- Rules and Legislative Administration
- State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs
- Transportation Finance
- Transportation Policy
- 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 have 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
- 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
- Election results 2010
- Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- Minnesota State Legislature, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature"
- WCCO-TV, Reality Check: Who's Getting The Most Per Diem?, January 14, 2009
- minnesota.publicradio.org, "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
- Article on session adjourning
- 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 House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- 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, "Guide for Candidates," accessed December 17, 2013
- 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. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- Rules of the Minnesota House of Representatives - Article VII: Officers of the House
- Minnesota House Leadership
- 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
State of Minnesota
St. Paul (capital)
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