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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 01, 2014, 06:08 PM

Minnesota has the most state senators in the nation, but that may be changing

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new bill in Minnesota could cut the size of the state's legislature in half.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new bill in Minnesota could cut the size of the state's legislature in half.

Right now Minnesota has more state senators than any other state in the country.

Eliminating some would save taxpayer’s money and take away the need for a new multi-million dollar Senate Building.

But not everyone is on board.

During last year's legislative session Minnesota lawmakers approved a new Senate building, now estimated to cost $90 million.

Governor Dayton has already signed off, but one republican now says he has a better plan, one that's better suited for the size of Minnesota.

When you look at the population of each state Minnesota sits down at number 21 on the list.

But when it comes to the number of lawmakers they have to speak for the people, number five.

Jim Hotzfield/Pelican Rapids: "haha it's too many of them."

Clarine Nelson/Moorhead: "I think that means we have good representation in our legislature."

Right now there are 201 state legislators total.

A new bill just introduced wants to cut that by more than 50 percent.

Nelson: "They're supposed to be our government, not just the government of a few."

House members would go from 134 to 65 and Senators: 67 to 32.

Taking away the need for their new 90 million dollar office building.

Hotzfield: "It's a good idea then."

And saving about 10 million more each year for taxpayers.

Nelson: "I think it's going to be harder for me to be represented by any legislature that is there because he or she will have so many more constituents that they're representing."

And although cutting government may seem to some like an extreme way to cut costs people here agree that when it comes to Minnesota's government spending there have to be cuts somewhere.

Hotzfield: "Because they spend too much money. I think in Minnesota, I think we're getting taxed way too much."

Nelson: "Just like we have to budget what we have in our homes and families, they have to be looking at what's really a need, and what's a want."

Right now each legislator in Minnesota makes more than $31,000 a year plus living and travel expenses.

New Hampshire has the highest number of state lawmakers at more than 400, but they work for only 100 dollars annually.

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