The daily journals, compiled by the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate for their respective bodies, are the official records of legislative proceedings. The state constitution requires that the journal contain a record of all roll call votes. The journals record attendance, bill introductions, committee reports, amendments to bills, and reports of conference committees. In addition, it is the record of official communications between the two bodies, messages from the governor and protests filed by members.
Minnesota is a "journal entry state," which means that the journal is the final authority used by the courts concerning actions of the Legislature and in determining legislative intent. Therefore it is very important that the journal be complete and accurate.
The daily journal is printed at the end of each day's session and is made available online to members, staff and the public before the next day's session. Electronic versions of House Journals (since 1994) and Senate Journals (since 1996) are available on the Legislative website. The House and Senate journals are compiled into permanent publications following a legislative session.
It is a compilation of all the daily journals placed in one bound volume. The appropriate offices in the House and the Senate proofread, correct, index, and certify the journals before printing them in their permanent forms.
The permanent Journals of both the House and Senate are distributed to Senate and House members and staff, to depository libraries, constitutional offices, and some state offices.
Print copies of current session Journals are available to the public at the Secretary of the Senate's Office counter and the front desk of the House Chief Clerk's Office.
In addition, electronic versions of House Journals (since 1994) and Senate Journals (since 1996) are available on the Legislative website.
The Legislative Reference Library has current and historical printed Journals available for public use.
Some Journals from previous years are available for reference on a limited basis in the Senate Information Office, Room 231 State Capitol and Senate Index, Room 110 State Capitol and in the House Public Information Services, Room 175 State Office Building.
You can use the basic search tool for House bills or Senate bills to look for bills by session, keyword, author, topic, and more from 1995 to the present. Other specialized search tools are noted on the main Bills search page. If you do not have internet access, there are public computers in the Legislative Reference Library on the third floor of the Minnesota Senate Building or the sixth floor of the State Office Building.
To identify bills older than 1995 by topic, use the topical index of the House Journals and Senate Journals in print, which are available in many libraries, including the Legislative Reference Library. See the Legislative History Guide for more information about researching bills older than 1995.
How to Follow a Bill
is a helpful guide to tracking bills currently before the Legislature. The House and Senate Index Offices also track the status of current bills. They can help you find a particular piece of legislation. Call House Index at 651-296-6646 or Senate Index at 651-296-2887. To receive a copy of the bill once you locate it, call the Chief Clerk's Office in the House at 651-296-2314 or Senate Information at 651-296-0504. For further information on this topic, see the Bills section of this FAQ.
No. They are free. For more details, please see the FAQ: Where do I find Journals of the House and Senate?