A Legislator's salary is $46,500 per year (see the Compensation of Minnesota Legislators, 1872 - present page). They are also allowed to collect a per diem for living and travel expenses seven days a week during the regular legislative session. For more information, see the House Research Department publication State Elected Officials Compensation.
You can use the Who Represents Me? page from Geospatial Information Services to find out who your elected officials are based on your address.
Additionally, you can contact the Senate Information Office, Room 231 State Capitol at 651-296-0504 or House Public Information Services in Room 175, State Office Building at 651-296-2146 to learn who represents you in both the Senate and the House.
The Minnesota Legislature has 67 senators and 134 representatives for a total of 201 members. The State of Minnesota is divided into 67 legislative districts, with about 79,163 people in each district. Voters elect one senator from each of these districts. Each senate district is divided into two sections. Voters elect one House member, or representative, from each section, making a total of 134 representatives. These districts, which are made up of about 39,582 people each, are identified with an "A" or a "B."
The House of Representatives member information page includes
Representatives' contact information, an excel spreadsheet, leadership information, and more. Additional information is in the right-hand column of the House of Representatives member information page.
The Senate member information page notes district numbers and leadership positions. Mailing labels and an ASCII Delimited Text File (which can open as an excel spreadsheet) of contact information are also available. Additional information is in the right-hand column of the Senate member information page.
Senators are elected for a four-year term and representatives are elected for a two-year term. However, in election years ending in 0, such as 2010 or 2000, Senators serve for a two-year term in order to provide for the redistricting process done in conjunction with the United States census.
For more information on the members of the House and the Senate, see State Lawmakers: Minnesota State Government Series.
The vacancy is filled by a special election called by the governor.
Representatives and Senators must be qualified voters of the state, be 21 years of age, and must have resided one year in the state. In addition, legislators must have lived the six months immediately preceding the election in the district from which they are elected.
Candidates for the Senate or House of Representatives must file during the designated time period, usually in May and June of the election year, and pay a fee. The Office of the Secretary of State has information on election laws, election calendars, voter lists, and more on their Elections and Voting page of their website.
Yes, they do have some special rights, mostly having to do with employment issues. In Minnesota, members of the Legislature are "citizen legislators" and many have jobs outside the Legislature. For example, a member of the Legislature who is employed in the private sector must be allowed to resume his or her old job or a position of similar seniority, pay, and status if he or she reapplies within 30 days after the end of the session. A member cannot be discharged because of time spent in legislative service, nor can they be denied their seniority or benefits.
In addition, no employer can discharge a member of the Legislature in retaliation for statements made or beliefs held in his or her capacity as a legislator.
If the legislator is employed by a public entity, such as a city or a school district, he or she must be restored to his or her original position or a position of similar status. In addition, that person is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence during any or all of his or her term of office.
The state constitution provides that members cannot be arrested while the Legislature is in session or when they are on their way to or from session, except in cases of felony, treason, or breach of the peace (see Sec. 10. Privilege from arrest). This privilege applies to misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors, excluding what the courts consider a breach of the peace. (Examples: assault or threatened assault, breaking and entering, driving while intoxicated, speeding, violent verbal attacks, or other acts that cause serious harm to people in the vicinity.)
The privilege only prevents detaining a member during session; it does not provide immunity from prosecution after session ends. The protection is not automatic. A member can either assert the privilege in court or choose to waive it.
The Minnesota statute regarding gifts and officials is 10A.071. House Research has done a "Short Subject" (from the perspective of
the House of Representatives) called "Gift Ban Law and Rules for
House Members and Employees". The Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board also has information on their publications page on the "gift ban".
The permanent journal for each session has an index of bills by author. Also, you can click on the Web page for your Senator or Representative to find the recent bills he or she has authored.
The votes that Senators and Representatives cast are a matter of public record and are recorded in the official journals of each body. You can find the votes on the Legislature's website for the years 1995 to present.
The House has made it easy to check on House votes cast since 2001 on all bills. From the Bill Status page for any House bill, click on Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes to get voting details. Or go to the Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes page to find a vote by date or by bill number.
The Senate does not provide this service. To track how Senators voted from 1995 to the present, and how Representatives voted from 1995 to 2001, go to the Legislation and Bill Status page, type in the bill you are looking for, and you will get a bill status page on your screen. Near the bottom, you will see the final vote. Next to it should be a link to the journal page recording the vote. Simply look up your Representative or Senator to see how he or she voted.
For years prior to 1995, you would need to use the print volumes of the House and Senate Journals. Minnesota House and Senate Journals are available at the Legislative Reference Library, Minnesota Law Library, Minnesota History Center and various other libraries.
There are no official compilations of voting records. To find all votes by a particular Senator or Representative, you must look up the final vote on each individual bill.
Some Senators and Representatives have their staff keep track of votes. In addition, interest groups following certain legislation compile such information. Be aware, however, that these compilations can be partisan in nature. A selection of Legislator Voting Records and Ratings can be found in a guide from the Legislative Reference Library.
In the House, members of each party caucus meet on an informal basis within a week or two after the general election to organize and elect leaders. Each caucus can nominate a speaker designate. The speaker is officially elected by members of the entire House on the opening day of the session. The majority caucus also elects a majority leader and assistant leaders. Likewise, the minority caucus elects a minority leader to express the caucus opinion on the House floor, and other assistant minority leaders. For a list of current leaders in the House, see the House of Representatives Leadership web page.
In the Senate, the leader of the majority caucus directs the business of the Senate and is considered the leader of the Senate. He or she is elected by the members of the caucus, which also elects the leader's chief assistant, called the assistant majority leader. The minority caucus also elects its own leaders, much like the House does. The President of the Senate, who presides over the activities of the Senate and assigns bills to committees, is elected on the opening day of each biennial session. Senate leadership positions are noted on the Senate member page.
Whichever party holds the most seats in either the House or the Senate is considered the Majority Caucus.
Historical information about the Minnesota Legislature is available from the Legislative Reference Library and from the Minnesota Historical Society. For information about former members of the Legislature, see Minnesota Legislators Past & Present, call the Library at 651-296-8338 or email the Library. A historical data web page is available with facts on House and Senate leadership, party control, sessions, vetoes, women in the Legislature, and more.