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Compensation of Minnesota Legislators, 1872 - present

Until recently, the Minnesota Constitution provided that legislators’ compensation was set by law and that the House and Senate could designate three leadership positions to receive up to 140 percent of the compensation of other members of the legislature. The annual salary for representatives and senators hadn't changed since 1999.

A constitutional amendment regarding how legislators’ salaries are set was on the ballot during the 2016 election. The amendment was adopted; legislator salaries will now be determined by the Legislative Salary Council.  The sixteen Council members are appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the Supreme Court.  In March 2017, the Legislative Salary Council prescribed an annual salary of $45,000 beginning July 1, 2017.

Frequent requests are made for historical legislative salary and per diem information. This chart seeks to compile the information in one place. These data on legislator salary, leadership salary, per diem, and lodging reimbursement compensation are taken from a variety of sources: House and Senate Rules Committee books, House and Senate Journals, Session Laws, Statutes, reports of the Minnesota State Compensation Council, and periodical sources. Individual data points link to their source of authority. Unique circumstances and other necessary details are included as footnotes to further explain the data.

Most data for leadership salary, per diem, and lodging reimbursement were found in materials from House or Senate Rules Committees, where resolutions on these matters are typically passed. Meeting minutes and the text of the resolutions are included.

While efforts have been made to verify this information, errors are possible. Please report any errors to the library staff.

Years Annual Salarya     Session Law Establishing Annual Salary Session Law Effective Date House Leadership Salary1 Senate Leadership Salary2 House Per Diem3 Senate Per Diem3 House Monthly Lodging Reimbursementb Senate Monthly Lodging Reimbursementb
2017-2018 $31,140/ $45,000c 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $6645 $8646 $1,800 $1,800
2015-2016 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $66 $865 $1,500 $1,50036
2014 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $66 $864 $1,200 $1,500
2013 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $66 $864 $1,200 $1,20037
2011-2012 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $77 $86 $1,200 $1,200
2009-2010 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $77 $966 $1,200 $1,20038
2007-2008 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $77 $967 $1,200 $1,200
2005-2006 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $66 $668 $1,200 $900
2003-2004 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $56 $669 $1,000 $900
2001-2002 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $56 $6610 $900 $900
2000 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $56 $5611 $780 $900
1999 $31,140 1997 Minn. Laws Second Spl. Sess. Chap. 3 Sec. 16 1/4/1999 140% 140% $56 $5611 $757 $800
1997-1998 $29,657 1993 Minn. Laws Chap. 192 Sec. 2 Subd. 6 1/2/1995 140% 140% $56 $56 $735 $750
1995-1996 $29,657 1993 Minn. Laws Chap. 192 Sec. 2 Subd. 6 1/2/1995 up to 140% 140% $48 $50 $650 $600
1993-1994 $27,979 The Minnesota State Compensation Council recommended a salary of $27,979 pursuant to 1992 Minn. Stat. 15A.082 Subd. 3 There does not appear to be a corresponding law. 1/4/1993 up to 140% 140% $48 $50 $600 $500
1991-1992 $27,979 The Minnesota State Compensation Council recommended a salary of $27,979 pursuant to 1990 Minn. Stat. 15A.082 Subd. 3 There does not appear to be a corresponding law. 1/7/1991 up to 140% 140% $48 $50 $500 $450
1990 $26,395 1987 Minn. Laws Chap. 404 Sec. 43 Subd. 2 1/1/1990 up to 140% 140% $48 $48 $450 $400
1989 $25,138 1987 Minn. Laws Chap. 404 Sec. 43 Subd. 2 1/1/1989 up to 140% 140% $48 $48 $450 $400
1988 $23,941 1985 Minn. Laws First Spl. Sess. Chap. 13 Sec. 52 1/1/1988 up to 140% 140% $36 $36 $400 $300
1987 $23,244 1985 Minn. Laws First Spl. Sess. Chap. 13 Sec. 52 1/1/1987 up to 140% 140% $3644 $3612 $40043 $300
1986 $22,350 1984 Minn. Laws Chap. 654 Art. 2 Sec. 30 1/1/1986 up to 140% 140% $36/$2313 $36 -- $200
1985 $21,140 1984 Minn. Laws Chap. 654 Art. 2 Sec. 30 1/1/1985 up to 140% 140% $36/$2313 $3614 -- $200
1983-1984 $18,500 1977 Minn. Laws Chap. 35 Sec. 10 1/1/1980 up to 140% 140%20 $36/$2315 $3616 -- $20042
1981-1982 $18,500 1977 Minn. Laws Chap. 35 Sec. 10 1/1/1980 up to 140%17 140%20 $36/$2318 $36/$2319 -- --
1980 $18,500 1977 Minn. Laws Chap. 35 Sec. 10 1/1/1980 The resolution on leadership compensation was suspended on January 28, 1980. 140%20 $27/$1722 $27/$1723 -- --
1979 $16,500 1977 Minn. Laws Chap. 35 Sec. 10 1/1/1979 140%21 140%20 $27/$1722 $27/$1723 -- --
1977-1978 $8,400 1971 Minn. Laws First Spl. Sess. Chap. 32 Sec. 22 1/2/1973 -- -- $48/$4024 $48/$4025 -- --
1975-1976 $8,400 1971 Minn. Laws First Spl. Sess. Chap. 32 Sec. 22 1/2/1973 -- -- $33/$2526 $33/$2527 -- --
1973-1974 $8,400 1971 Minn. Laws First Spl. Sess. Chap. 32 Sec. 22 1/2/1973 -- -- $33/$2528 $33/$2529 -- --
1971-1972 $4,800 1965 Minn. Laws Chap. 881 Sec. 1 1/1/1967 -- -- $24/$1630 $24/$1631 -- --
1969-1970 $4,800 1965 Minn. Laws Chap. 881 Sec. 1 1/1/1967 -- -- $24/$1632 $24/$1633 -- --
1967-1968 $4,800 1965 Minn. Laws Chap. 881 Sec. 1 1/1/1967 -- -- $21/$1434 $21/$1435 -- --
1965-1966 $2,400 1955 Minn. Laws Chap. 793 Sec. 1 1/1/1957 -- -- $21/$1441 $21/$1441 -- --
1963-1964 $2,400 1955 Minn. Laws Chap. 793 Sec. 1 1/1/1957 -- -- $18/$1241 $18/$1241 -- --
1961-1962 $2,400 1955 Minn. Laws Chap. 793 Sec. 1 1/1/1957 -- -- $12/$841 $12/$841 -- --
1959-1960 $2,400 1955 Minn. Laws Chap. 793 Sec. 1 1/1/1957 -- -- $12/$841 $12/$841 -- --
1957-1958 $2,400 1955 Minn. Laws Chap. 793 Sec. 1 1/1/1957 -- -- $12/$841 $12/$841 -- --
1955-1956 $1,500 1951 Minn. Laws Chap. 701 Sec. 1 1/1/1953 -- -- $1,100 for expenses41 $1,200 for expenses41 -- --
1953-1954 $1,500 1951 Minn. Laws Chap. 701 Sec. 1 1/1/1953 -- -- $800 for expenses41 $900 for expenses41 -- --
1951-1952 $1,000 1943 Minn. Laws Chap. 629 Sec. 1 1/2/1945 -- -- $800 for expenses41 $900 for expenses41 -- --
1949-1950 $1,000 1943 Minn. Laws Chap. 629 Sec. 1 1/2/1945 -- -- $375 for expenses41 $590.36 for expenses41 -- --
1947-1948 $1,000 1943 Minn. Laws Chap. 629 Sec. 1 1/2/1945 -- -- various41 various41 -- --
1945-1946 $1,000 1943 Minn. Laws Chap. 629 Sec. 1 1/2/1945 -- -- -- -- -- --
1909-1944 $500 1907 Minn. Laws Chap. 229 1/1/1909 -- -- -- -- -- --
1874-1909 $5/day 1874 Minn. Laws Chap. 113 1/1/1874 $10/day39 $10/day39 -- -- -- --
1857-1873 $3/day Minnesota Constitution, Article 4, Section 7 
(signed August 29, 1857)
12/2/185740 -- -- -- -- -- --
a - Members may individually elect to receive a salary that is less than what is detailed in this table.

b - This reimbursement rate represents the maximum monthly reimbursement for members’ lodging expenses. See the text of each resolution, linked from the reimbursement rate for a given year, for further details about the reimbursement. Members may individually elect to receive a lodging reimbursement that is less than what is detailed in this table.

c - In March 2017, the Legislative Salary Council prescribed an annual salary of $45,000 beginning July 1, 2017. As of July 1, 2017, Senators are receiving an annual salary of $45,000; as of August 1, 2017, Representatives are receiving an annual salary of $45,000.

1 - House Leadership: Minnesota Statutes, section 3.099 provides that the House and Senate Rules Committees “may each designate for their respective body up to three leadership positions to receive up to 140 percent of the compensation of other members.” This statutory language was added by Laws of Minnesota 1977, chapter 35, section 10, subd. 3. Except in 1979, the House Rules Committee has designated the Speaker of the House, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration, and the House Minority Leader as the three leaders to receive the leadership salary.

2 - Senate Leadership: Minnesota Statutes, section 3.099 provides that the House and Senate Rules Committees “may each designate for their respective body up to three leadership positions to receive up to 140 percent of the compensation of other members.” This statutory language was added by Laws of Minnesota 1977, chapter 35, section 10, subd. 3. The Senate has not passed resolutions related to leadership salaries since 1983.

3 - Per Diem: In some years, the House and Senate passed per diem resolutions assigning a higher per diem rate to greater-Minnesota legislators than to metro-area legislators, which accounts for why some years show two per diem rates. See individual resolutions for clarity on how these determinations were made. An attempt has also been made to include information about interim per diem rates in footnoted material. Members may individually elect to receive a per diem rate that is less than what is detailed in this table.

4 -Senate 2013-2014: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a per diem rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2011.

5 - Senate 2015-2016: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a per diem rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2011. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the 2015-2016 biennium.

6 - Senate 2009-2010: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a per diem rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2007. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

7 - Senate 2007-2008: Per diem was discussed on the floor several other times during the biennium.

8 - Senate 2005-2006: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

9 - Senate 2003-2004: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

10 - Senate 2001-2002: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

11 - Senate 1999-2000: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

12 - Senate 1987-1988: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

13 - House 1985-1986: In committee, the House passed a resolution to establish per diem rates. That resolution refers to these pages of the 1981 House Journal.

14 - Senate 1985-1986: Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

15 - House 1983-1984: After committee discussion, the House passed a resolution on the floor to establish per diem rates.

16 - Senate 1983-1984: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 23 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium. This appears to be the first year the Senate stopped paying a higher per diem rate to legislators from greater Minnesota.

17 - House 1981-1982: The leadership salary was reinstated for House leadership in 1981.

18 - House 1981-1982: After committee discussion, the House passed a resolution on the floor to establish per diem rates.

19 - Senate 1981-1982: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 20 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

20 - Senate 1979-1980, 1981-1982, 1983-1984: The Senate determined in committee that the Majority and Minority Leaders would both receive the leadership salary each month. They designated the Chair of the Finance Committee and the Chair of the Committee on Taxes and Tax Laws to receive the pay differential on alternating months, starting with the Chair of Finance in January of the first year of the biennium.

21 - House 1979: A salary of 140% that of other members was given to the Speaker and the Chair of Rules. The House Floor Leader and the I-R Caucus Leader received 140% of the compensation of other members on alternate months, starting with the House Floor Leader in January 1979.

22 - House 1979-1980: After committee discussion, the House passed House Resolution No. 5 on the floor to establish per diem rates. It stated that House members were to submit their requested per diem rate in writing. Minnesota Statutes 1978, 3.099 specified the maximum rate.

23 - Senate 1979-1980: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 16 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

24 - House 1977-1978: After committee discussion, the House passed House Resolution No. 2 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

25 - Senate 1977-1978: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 17 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

26 - House 1975-1976: After committee discussion, the House passed House Resolution No. 4 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

27 - Senate 1975-1976: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 15 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

28 - House 1973-1974: After committee discussion, the House passed House Resolution No. 8 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

29 - Senate 1973-1974: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 17 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

30 - House 1971-1972: After committee discussion, the House passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

31 - Senate 1971-1972: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 on the floor to establish per diem rates. Per diem was discussed in committee several other times during the biennium.

32 - House 1969-1970: After committee discussion, the House passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 1 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

33 - Senate 1969-1970: The Senate passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 1 on the floor to establish per diem rates. No related committee documents were found.

34 - House 1967-1968: After committee discussion, the House passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

35 - Senate 1967-1968: After committee discussion, the Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 on the floor to establish per diem rates.

36 - Senate 2015-2016: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a lodging reimbursement rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2014.

37 - Senate 2013: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a lodging reimbursement rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2011-2012.

38 - Senate 2009-2010: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a lodging reimbursement rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2007-2008.

39 - House & Senate 1874-1909: The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House received this higher payment of $10 per day.

40 - The first day of the 1857-1858 legislative session was December 2, 1857. The United States Congress admitted Minnesota as a state in the union on May 11, 1858. The 1857-1858 legislative session is considered the first legislative session. (Eight territorial sessions preceded the 1857-1858 legislative session.)

41 - House & Senate 1947-1966: Per diem and "expense" figures for 1947-1966 are based on information taken from House and/or Senate Journals. Any potentially relevant committee materials related to this compensation have not yet been consulted. It appears 1947 was the first year legislators received compensation beyond their prescribed salary (i.e. expense reimbursement or per diem).

42 - Senate 1983-1984: This appears to be the first year the Senate provided a lodging reimbursement to legislators from greater Minnesota.

43 - House 1987: This appears to be the first year the House provided a lodging reimbursement to legislators from greater Minnesota.

44 - House 1987: This appears to be the first year the House stopped paying a higher per diem rate to legislators from greater Minnesota.

45 - House 2017-2018: House Speaker Kurt Daudt temporarily suspended per diem payments for House members, effective October 6, 2017. Per diem payments for House members were reinstated in December 2017.

46 - Senate 2017-2018: In recent years, it is the custom of the Senate that when a per diem rate is set, it continues at that rate until such a time as it is explicitly changed. This figure reflects the rate set in 2011. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka temporarily suspended per diem payments for Senators, effective November 8, 2017. Per diem payments for Senators were reinstated on November 30, 2017.