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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature

What is the Daily Journal?

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. The House and Senate journals are compiled into permanent publications following a legislative session.

Electronic versions of House Journals (since 1994) and Senate Journals (since 1996) are available on the Legislative website. The Legislative Reference Library digitized Journals from 1973-1996.