Michael Paymar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1996 and served 9 terms as a legislator from St. Paul, Minnesota. At the Capitol, he is chair of the Public Safety Finance Division which has budget oversight over the Department of Correction, Department of Public Safety, Department of Human Rights, the Courts and crime victim programs. He is also member of the House Finance Committee, Public Safety Policy Division and the Civil Justice Division.
Michael Paymar is also a member of the Council of State Governments Public Safety and Justice Task Force and the National Conference of State Legislatures Committee on Law and Justice
Paymar served on the Duluth City Council in Duluth, Minnesota in the1980s. During his tenure he was President, Vice President and Finance Chair. Paymar was appointed to both the St. Paul and Duluth Charter Commissions by District Courts in Minnesota.
Paymar is currently a Resource Specialist for the Battered Women’s Justice Program in Minneapolis providing training and technical assistance to professionals in the criminal and civil justice system, law enforcement and the military on ways to end domestic violence.
Paymar worked with the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project an internationally renowned program that has been an innovator in combating domestic violence. As a consultant with the Soros Foundation and Advocates for Human Rights, Michael worked with NGOs in Eastern Europe, Europe, the Caucuses, central Asia, China and Australia. He has worked with the Department of Defense in the United States and military installations in Japan, Guam, Iceland, Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, and California.
Michael is an author publishing “Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse” and “Education Groups for Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model.” He is the executice producer of Men, Violence and Change and he has written many manuals and training curricula. He is currently producing a documentary With Impunity for PBS. He has been a featured guest on national and international television and radio discussing family violence.
Paymar earned a Bachelors degree in Education and History from the College of St. Scholastica. He received his Masters degree in Public Administration from Hamline University and has been an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. Paymar has received numerous awards including the NAACP Award for Dedicated Service in Support of Civil Rights, Achievement Awards from the Homeless Coalition, the Judicairy Council, Sexual Assault Coalition, and Legal Services.