Minnesota State Senate
|Minnesota State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 24, 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Michelle Fischbach, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||David Senjem, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Thomas Bakk, (D)|
| Democratic Party (39) |
Republican Party (28)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Minnesota Constitution|
|Salary:||$31,140.90 + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (67 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (67 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Minnesota Legislature subcommittee has control|
State senators are paid a salary of $31,140 per year. During the regular legislative session, legislators can be reimbursed up to $96 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.  
Article IV of the Minnesota Constitution establishes when the Minnesota State Legislature, of which the Senate 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 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate will be in session from January 24 through May 21.
Republicans and Democrats are both hopeful that the 2012 session will be a fresh start after last year's budget showdown that led to a three-week government shutdown. Major issues include job creation, economic development and whether to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 4 through May 23.
In 2010, the Senate was in session from February 4th to March 17th.
- See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012
Although Minnesota senators typically serve four-year terms, they are elected to a two-year term during the first election of the decade. This allows for legislative elections to fall shortly after redistricting is completed. Since Minnesota Senate terms are not staggered, all sitting members will be on the ballot in November.
- See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Minnesota State Senate were held in Minnesota on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 1, 2010 and the primary election day was on September 14, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $5,109,415 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|6th Senate District Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party||$23,500|
|Nelson Carla Jean House District 30A Cmte||$14,014|
|Minnesota Telecom Alliance||$14,000|
|Faegre & Benson||$11,900|
|Minnesota Association of Realtors||$11,750|
|Minnesota Dental Association||$11,600|
To be eligible to run for the Minnesota State Senate in 2010, 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 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
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
In Minnesota, all vacancies in the Senate 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 Senate 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 Senate 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 Senate reconvenes.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2011, members of the Minnesota legislature are paid $31,140.90/year. Senators receive $86/day per diem while representatives receive $77/day. The rates are set by the legislature/rules committee.
The $31,140.90/year that Minnesota legislators are paid as of 2011 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2010 and 2007. Per diem is also the same as in 2007, but decreased from $96/day in 2010.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2013|
In the Minnesota Senate, members of the majority caucus elect a leader, who directs the business of the Senate and is considered the leader of the Senate. The minority caucus elects its own leaders. The Senate President is elected on the opening day of each biennial session.
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." 
List of current members
The Minnesota Senate has sixteen (16) standing committees:
- Agriculture and Rural Economies
- Capital Investment
- Commerce and Consumer Protection
- Energy, Utilities, Technology, and Communications
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Health and Human Services
- Higher Education
- Jobs and Economic Growth
- Judiciary and Public Safety
- Local Government and Elections
- Rules and Administration
- State Government Innovation and Veterans
- Minnesota Senate official website
- Minnesota Legislature official website
- Minnesota official 2006 election results
- Senate Briefly, Daily Coverage of the 2009 session
- Vote Smart profile of Minnesota Senate
- Wikipedia:85th Minnesota Legislature
- Minnesota State Senate election results
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ Minnesota term constraints
- ↑ Senator Demographics, Eighty-Sixth Legislature
- ↑ Minnesota State Legislature, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature"
- ↑ WCCO-TV, Reality Check: Who's Getting the Most Per Diem?,January 14, 2009
- ↑ Star Tribune, "New session opens with cautious hopes for peace," January 21, 2012
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Minnesota Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ 2010 Guide for Candidates
- ↑ Minnesota Revisor of Statutes "Minnesota Election Law"(Referenced Statute 351.055)
- ↑ Minnesota Revisor of Statutes "Minnesota Election Law"(Referenced Statute 204D.19 (1)-(3))
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ Minnesota Legislature - "FAQ - How are leaders in the House and Senate chosen?"
- ↑ Minnesota Senate - 2009-2010 leadership list
- ↑ Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 3, Section 3.05
- ↑ Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 3, Section 3.011
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St. Paul (capital)
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