Minnesota Senate

The Minnesota Senate is the upper house of the Legislature of the U.S. state of Minnesota. At 67 members, half as many as the Minnesota House of Representatives, it is the largest upper house of any U.S. state legislature.[2] Floor sessions are held in the west wing of the State Capitol in Saint Paul. Committee hearings, as well as offices for senators and staff, are located north of the State Capitol in the Minnesota Senate Building. Each member of the Minnesota Senate represents approximately 80,000 constituents.[3]

Minnesota Senate
91st Minnesota Legislature
Term limits
New session started
January 8, 2019 (2019-01-08)
Jeremy Miller (R)
since January 8, 2019
Paul Gazelka (R)
since January 3, 2017
Tom Bakk (DFL)
since January 3, 2017
Political groups
Length of term
4 years when elected in years ending in 2 and 6.
2 years when elected in years ending in 0.
AuthorityArticle IV, Minnesota Constitution
Salary$45,000/year + per diem[1]
Last election
November 8, 2016
Next election
November 3, 2020
RedistrictingLegislative control
Meeting place
Senate chamber
Minnesota State Capitol
Saint Paul, Minnesota


The Minnesota Senate held its first regular session on December 2, 1857.[4]


In addition to its legislative powers, certain appointments by the governor are subject to the Senate's advice and consent. As state law provides for hundreds of executive appointments, the vast majority of appointees serve without being confirmed by the Senate; only the most controversial are traditionally rejected by the body.[5] The Senate has rejected only seven executive appointments since 2000.[6]


Each Senate district is split between an A and B House district (e.g., Senate District 41 contains House districts 41A and 41B). The Minnesota Constitution forbids a House district to be within more than one Senate district.[7]

In order to account for decennial redistricting, members run for one two-year term and two four-year terms each decade. Senators are elected for four-year terms in years ending in 2 and 6, and for two-year terms in years ending in 0.[8] Districts are redrawn after the decennial United States Census in time for the primary and general elections in years ending in 2. The most recent election was held on November 8, 2016.


From statehood through 1972, the lieutenant governor served as president of the Senate. In 1972, voters approved a constitutional amendment that provided for the Senate to elect its own president beginning January 1973.[9] The president, who presides over official Senate proceedings, also acts as the parliamentarian and oversees the secretary of the senate.[10] The current president of the Senate is Republican Jeremy Miller of Winona.[11]

The majority leader is responsible for managing and scheduling the business of the Senate and oversees partisan and nonpartisan staff. The current majority leader is Paul Gazelka, a Republican from Nisswa.[12] Each caucus also selects its owner leaders and deputy leaders.

Minnesota Senate Building

Committee hearings primarily take place in the Minnesota Senate Building, a 293,000 square feet office building that opened in January 2016.[13] The $90 million office building, which is located north of the State Capitol across University Avenue includes three committee hearing rooms, offices for all senators and staff, a raised terrace overlooking the State Capitol, and a 264-space underground parking facility.[14]

The 2016 session was held in the newly-constructed Minnesota Senate Building due to an extensive restoration at the State Capitol. It was the first time the Senate held a regular session outside of the State Capitol since its opening in 1905.[15]


91st Minnesota Legislature (2019–2021)
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Republican Democratic–
End of the previous Legislature 34 32 66 1
Begin (January 8, 2019)[nb 1] 34 32 66 1
February 13, 2019[nb 2] 35 67 0
Latest voting share 52.2% 47.8%

Members, 2017–2021

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
District Name Party Residence First elected
1 Mark Johnson Republican East Grand Forks 2016
2 Paul Utke Republican Park Rapids 2016
3 Tom Bakk DFL Cook 2002
4 Kent Eken DFL Twin Valley 2012
5 Justin Eichorn Republican Grand Rapids 2016
6 David Tomassoni DFL Chisholm 2000
7 Erik Simonson DFL Duluth 2016
8 Bill Ingebrigtsen Republican Alexandria 2006
9 Paul Gazelka Republican Nisswa 2010
10 Carrie Ruud Republican Breezy Point 2002[nb 3]
11 Jason Rarick Republican Pine City 2019[nb 4]
12 Torrey Westrom Republican Elbow Lake 2012
13 Jeff Howe Republican Rockville 2018[nb 4]
14 Jerry Relph Republican St. Cloud 2016
15 Andrew Mathews Republican Milaca 2016
16 Gary Dahms Republican Redwood Falls 2010
17 Andrew Lang Republican Olivia 2016
18 Scott Newman Republican Hutchinson 2010
19 Nick Frentz DFL North Mankato 2016
20 Rich Draheim Republican Madison Lake 2016
21 Mike Goggin Republican Red Wing 2016
22 Bill Weber Republican Luverne 2012
23 Julie Rosen Republican Vernon Center 2002
24 John Jasinski Republican Faribault 2016
25 Dave Senjem Republican Rochester 2002
26 Carla Nelson Republican Rochester 2010
27 Dan Sparks DFL Austin 2002
28 Jeremy Miller Republican Winona 2010
29 Bruce Anderson Republican Buffalo Township 2012
30 Mary Kiffmeyer Republican Big Lake 2012
31 Michelle Benson Republican Ham Lake 2010
32 Mark Koran Republican North Branch 2016
33 David Osmek Republican Mound 2012
34 Warren Limmer Republican Maple Grove 1995[nb 4]
35 Jim Abeler Republican Anoka 2016[nb 4]
36 John Hoffman DFL Champlin 2012
37 Jerry Newton DFL Coon Rapids 2016
38 Roger Chamberlain Republican Lino Lakes 2010
39 Karin Housley Republican St. Marys Point 2012
40 Chris Eaton DFL Brooklyn Center 2011[nb 4]
41 Carolyn Laine DFL Columbia Heights 2016
42 Jason Isaacson DFL Shoreview 2016
43 Chuck Wiger DFL Maplewood 1996
44 Paul Anderson Republican Plymouth 2016
45 Ann Rest DFL New Hope 2000
46 Ron Latz DFL St. Louis Park 2006
47 Scott Jensen Republican Chaska 2016
48 Steve Cwodzinski DFL Eden Prairie 2016
49 Melisa Franzen DFL Edina 2012
50 Melissa Halvorson Wiklund DFL Bloomington 2012
51 Jim Carlson DFL Eagan 2006[nb 5]
52 Matt Klein DFL Mendota Heights 2016
53 Susan Kent DFL Woodbury 2012
54 Karla Bigham DFL Cottage Grove 2018[nb 4]
55 Eric Pratt Republican Prior Lake 2012
56 Dan Hall Republican Burnsville 2010
57 Greg Clausen DFL Apple Valley 2012
58 Matt Little DFL Lakeville 2016
59 Bobby Joe Champion DFL Minneapolis 2012
60 Kari Dziedzic DFL Minneapolis 2012[nb 4]
61 Scott Dibble DFL Minneapolis 2002
62 Jeff Hayden DFL Minneapolis 2011[nb 4]
63 Patricia Torres Ray DFL Minneapolis 2006
64 Dick Cohen DFL Saint Paul 1986
65 Sandy Pappas DFL Saint Paul 1990
66 John Marty DFL Roseville 1986
67 Foung Hawj DFL Saint Paul 2012

See also


  1. District 11 DFL incumbent Tony Lourey resigned on January 3, 2019, to be appointed commissioner of human services.[16]
  2. Republican Jason Rarick won a special election in District 11 on February 5, 2019.[17]
  3. Lost re-election in 2006. Elected again in 2012.
  4. Elected in a special election.[18]
  5. Lost re-election 2010. Elected again in 2012.


  1. Coolican, J. Patrick. "Minn. Legislature to receive pay hike". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  2. Legislatures, National Conference of State. "Number of Legislators and Length of Terms in Years". www.ncsl.org. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  3. "Frequently Asked Questions - - Minnesota Legislature". www.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  4. "Sessions of the Minnesota State Legislature and the Minnesota Territorial Legislature, 1849-present". Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  5. "Creation and Organization of Executive Branch Agencies". Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  6. "Senate Confirmations: Problematic Governor Appointments - Minnesota Legislative Reference Library". www.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  7. "Minn. Const. art. IV, § 3". Constitution of the State of Minnesota. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  8. "Minn. Const. art. IV, § 4". Constitution of the State of Minnesota. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  9. "President and President Pro Tempore of the Minnesota Senate, 1849-present". Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  10. "Minnesota Senate President and President Pro Tempore, 1849-present - Minnesota Legislative Reference Library". www.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  11. "Winona's Jeremy Miller elected Minnesota Senate president". Winona Daily News. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  12. Ferguson, Dana. "MN Republicans re-elect Gazelka as senate majority leader". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  13. Davis, Don (January 11, 2016). "Minnesota Senate Building quietly opens in spite of disagree..." Forum News Service. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  14. "After controversy, new Minnesota Senate Office Building finally opens". Twin Cities. January 11, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  15. Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. (August 6, 2017). "How the newly restored Minnesota Capitol came to be". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  16. Coolican, J. Patrick (January 3, 2019). "Gov.-elect Tim Walz names seven new commissioners, including state Sen. Tony Lourey". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  17. Van Oot, Torey (February 6, 2019). "Republican Jason Rarick wins Minnesota Senate seat vacated by Democrat". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  18. "Party Control of the Minnesota Senate, 1951-present". Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved November 13, 2018.

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