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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature

What are the House Rules and Senate Rules? Why does each body have them?

The House Rules and Senate Rules govern the procedures of each body and the acceptable conduct of each member. According to the state constitution, the Legislature must establish its own rules and procedure. As a result, both the House and the Senate establish their own rules, as well as joint rules. New rules are adopted each biennium.

The rule-drafting process actually begins very early in the legislative session. Both the House and the Senate have rules subcommittees to put together proposed rules. Then the proposed rules are presented to the entire body for approval. Until the new permanent rules are adopted, the House and Senate adopt the rules from the previous session as temporary rules.