As a member of the parliament, delegates are voted by the people and therefore legally represent all people in Saxony-Anhalt. That is why only delegates can decide upon laws – this is called sovereign rights. The duration of a delegate's legislative term in the state parliament is five years. If someone has already lived in Saxony-Anhalt for six months and is at least 18 years old, he or she can offer him-/herself as candidate for the state election.
Delegates are not bound by orders or instructions, and are responsible only to their personal conscience. They can only lose their mandate before the end of their term by a waiver or a criminal withdrawal, neither due to a vote of no confidence by voters nor an exclusion of a parliamentary group. No one may be hindered from accepting or exercising the delegates function. A termination for that reason is therefore inadmissible. For the 8th legislative period, there are 97 delegates in the state parliament.
The concrete tasks of a delegate of the state parliament arise from the tasks and functions of the state parliament: legislative, elective, control, budget, and panel function.
How is a delegate’s working week?
Because of their two-parted work, a delegate of the state parliament generally has two offices. They have their work in their particular district and – especially in conference weeks – their work in the state parliament office in Magdeburg.
A delegate’s schedule is very busy and follows a clear general structure:
On Mondays they are in their electoral district offices, have local consultation hours for the citizens and hold meetings in the constituencies they supervise. Tuesdays, they work within their parliamentary group. In the morning, the members of the parliament assemble in working groups and discuss the committee meeting. In the afternoon, the complete parliamentary group meets and discusses the political strategy of the conference week.
On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, there are – as long as there are no state parliament meetings – normally committee meetings. Most of the content work is done in the constant committee meetings. Here, all parliamentary groups present their views on legislative proposals, negotiate compromises and prepare the plenum’s decision. Every four weeks, mostly Thursdays and Fridays, are the daylong plenary meetings in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt. The agenda is made in advance.
More meetings are added to the parliamentary work in the Plenum and in the committee meetings, working groups and parliamentary group meetings. In a delegate’s calendar are placed the preparation of speeches, the participation in specialized conferences, consultations and press conferences, as well as the guidance of visitors and school groups of the district.
How are delegates of the State Parliament paid?
Each delegate receives a compensation (called “Diät”) for the period of their mandate execution. In Saxony-Anhalt this amounts to 7,230.85 Euro per month, that they have to pay tax on. This compensation shall guarantee the independent exercise of the mandate. Every member of the parliament receives in addition a tax free cost lump sum about 1,914.36 Euro for the supervision of the constituencies.
As a comparison, a craftsman receives, according to a study of the Federal Statistical Office, around 2,300 Euro gross, an engineer 4,800 Euro. Doctors receive an average of 5,300 Euro, similarly high are the earnings in the banking and service range, as well as for lawyers. A manager who works for VW receives 7,200 Euro per month, a member of the German federal parliament 10,000 Euro.