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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Constitution provides: To qualify as governor a person must be 25 years old, reside in the state one year, be a citizen of the United States, and be elected by the people (Article V).
Term: Four years      
Statutory Salary: $120,303

Tim Pawlenty

Eagan. University of Minnesota, B.A.; University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. Attorney, private practice; criminal prosecutor; council member, city of Eagan; state representative; former chair, Governors Ethanol Coalition; vice chair, National Governors Association; member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council; member, Achieve Inc. board of directors; member, James B. Hunt Jr. Institute board of directors; chair, Midwestern Governors Association.

130 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul 55155
(651)296-3391, toll-free: (800)657-3717
Fax: (651)296-2089
Web site: 

Elected: 2002, 2006  
Term expires: January 2011


The primary duties of the governor are to oversee all operations of state government and to take the lead in shaping public policy through legislative proposals and agency initiatives. The operation of government is carried out through more than 27 major departments whose heads are appointed by the governor. These department heads, along with the lieutenant governor and chief of staff, make up the governor’s cabinet. The departments of revenue and finance are the governor’s chief advisors on financial matters; the departments of employment and economic development, labor and industry, and commerce advise the governor regarding economic development, the business climate, and business regulation; the departments of health, human services, education, and corrections advise the governor on various social policies; and the departments of pollution control and natural resources carry out the governor’s environmental policies.

The governor appoints people to state boards and commissions and appoints judges for all state courts when vacancies occur. He chairs the State Executive Council, Land Exchange Board, and the State Board of Investment. As commander-in-chief of state military forces, the governor can dispatch the national guard for emergency duty.

The governor reviews all bills passed by the legislature and has the power to veto those of which he disapproves. On occasion, the governor may appear before the legislature. Because of the separation of powers required by the Minnesota constitution, a governor may appear in legislative chamber only with the permission of the legislature. Only the governor has the power to call a special session of the legislature.

Last updated: 6/1/2009 2:52:59 PM