Minnesota's cost for an empty Senate seat: $856k and counting


Minnesota is only represented by one U.S. senator right now, but we're still paying the cost to have two people on Capitol Hill. In addition to a senator's salary, Minnesotans pay taxes towards the office staff, supplies and everything that goes into keeping their office functioning.

Should our state's residents continue to pay taxes for an office that isn't even open? WCCO's Esme Murphy dug through the books to find out exactly how much we're spending to not have proper representation.

According to her research on the cost of running a Senate office, Murphy says the feds owe Minnesotans $856,000 and counting. The Secretary of the Senate report (PDF) shows that Norm Coleman's office required $2.9 million in 2008 to function.

That breaks down to about $8,000 a day and we've been lacking one senator for 107 days and counting. Paying that back to taxpayers would be a little silly (you'd get a heft check for 32 cents), but what if we took that money and put it towards something in our state?