The journal for each session has an index of bills by author. This is compiled at the end of the biennium so if you're looking for more timely information, you can search for House bills or search for Senate bills by author. Also, you can click on the Legislators Past and Present page for your Senator or Representative to find the recent bills they have authored.
There are no official compilations of voting records. To find all votes by a particular Senator or Representative, you must look up the final vote on each individual bill.
The votes that Senators and Representatives cast are a matter of public record and are recorded in the official journals of each body. You can find the votes on the Legislature's website for the years 1994 to present in the House Journal and 1995 to present in the Senate Journal.
Since 2001, the House has recorded all House floor votes cast in a database. From the bill status page for any House bill, click on Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes to get voting details. You can find the bill status pages by searching the Bill Search and Status system. Or go to the Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes page to find a vote by date or by bill number.
The Senate does not provide a similar service. To track how Senators voted from 1995 to the present, and how Representatives voted from 1995 to 2001, go to the Bill Search and Status page to locate the bill you are looking for. On the bill status page, you'll see a table of actions, which will include the final vote, when applicable. Next to the final vote should be a link to the journal page recording the vote. You can use the journal page to look up your Representative or Senator to see how they voted.
For years prior to 1995, you will need to use the print volumes of the House and Senate Journals. Minnesota House and Senate Journals are available at the Legislative Reference Library, Minnesota Law Library, Minnesota History Center, and various other libraries. The Legislative Reference Library digitized Journals from 1973-1996.
Some Senators and Representatives have their staff keep track of votes. In addition, interest groups following certain legislation compile such information. Be aware, however, that these compilations can be partisan in nature. A selection of Legislator Voting Records and Ratings can be found in a guide from the Legislative Reference Library.
A bill must receive a majority of the votes in both houses—68 in the House and 34 in the Senate. Capital Investment bills require a three-fifths majority vote—81 representatives and 41 senators.
There is a set of buttons on the desk of every representative and senator—a green one for a "yes" vote and a red one for a "no" vote. Roll-call votes are recorded electronically and are visible on a board on each side of the Senate Chamber and the House Chamber.
A roll-call vote, where every member's vote is recorded, is required for the final passage of a bill or conference committee report. However, in order to have a roll-call vote for an amendment or, in the Senate, a bill on General Orders, a member must request a roll-call and be supported by a certain number of members. Otherwise, votes are taken by voice, in which case only the outcome of the vote is officially recorded in the House or Senate Journal. All roll-call votes are recorded in the House or Senate Journal.
If you have further questions, please contact House Public Information Services in Room 175, State Office Building, 651-296-2146, and Senate Information Office, Room 231, State Capitol, 651-296-0504.
Not necessarily. Either body can still take up a bill again as long as the session has not adjourned. In fact, bills are technically alive over the course of a biennium so a bill that was introduced in the first year (odd year) of a biennium and didn't pass, it could still be discussed until final adjournment in the second year (even year). When a bill fails to get the required number of votes, the author can try to persuade other members to change their opinions on the measure. The only way such a bill can be taken up for a vote again is if a member who voted against the bill is willing to make a motion for reconsideration and the body agrees to reconsider.
In addition, many bills that either don't receive a floor vote or are voted down on the floor end up as amendments to other bills of similar topic.