Pay raise for governor, state legislators mulled in Minnesota

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2013

More than a decade has passed since Minnesota legislators and the state’s governor last received a salary increase. That may change since this year, if the Legislature follows through on a pay raise recommended by Minnesota’s 16-member Compensation Council, a mix of state legislators, judges and members of the executive branch.

As in most Midwestern states, legislative service in Minnesota is considered “part time.” Members receive $31,140 a year, a figure in the mid-range for states in this region. The council says salaries need to be raised so that individuals “are not deterred by loss of income from running for office. Otherwise, we face the prospect of a Legislature that is not representative of Minnesota’s citizenry.” In April, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports, the Minnesota Senate approved a plan to make the salary of legislators one-third of that of the governor. The same measure would boost the governor’s salary from $120,000 to $128,000 by 2016, thus boosting legislators’ wages by about 35 percent.

In 2012, annual legislative salaries in the Midwest ranged from a high of $71,865 in Michigan to a low of $6,000 in South Dakota. Legislators are paid a per-day salary in Kansas ($88.66 during session) and North Dakota ($152 during session).