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You're invited to an open house reception to say goodbye to the Library's 6th floor reading room! Join us on Friday, April 5 from 3-4:30 for light refreshments, and to see the space one last time before we move on April 29. We'll also be recognizing Lisa Knoop's retirement after 39 years of service in the Library!

In May, come visit our temporary reading room in 321 Capitol. Staff offices will be located in the Centennial Office Building (1st floor). And you can still find us as usual in 3238 Minnesota Senate Building.

Since 1985, the Legislative Reference Library has made its home on the 6th floor of the State Office Building and leaving the 6th floor reading room is bittersweet!

From this hub, librarians have helped countless legislators and legislative staff with research, provided weekly tours to the House high school pages, and welcomed researchers, lobbyists, and citizen activists from across the state. The reading room has also served as a special event space over the years, hosting new member receptions, retirement parties, Minnesota’s presidential electors, NCSL conference sessions, and the UMN Regents.

The Library’s first home was the Capitol, and we’re looking forward to returning to our roots for a while. We'll have another new reading room space to look forward to when construction is complete on the State Office Building!

In 2023, the Legislature created many new state agencies, boards, task forces, working groups, and commissions, which the Library tracks in our Agency Database. Many of these groups are required to submit a report to the Legislature. This month’s issue of Just In will feature reports from some of these new groups: 

The PFAS Manufactures Fee Work Group’s goal was to review options for collecting a fee from manufacturers of PFAS in the state. Their recent report, Fee Collection Options for PFAS manufacturers in Minnesota (February 2024), reviews environmental fee structures currently in place, and outlines ways fees might be assessed for PFAS manufacturers. 

Working groups do not always come to consensus, and when that happens a group might issue both a primary report and a minority report, reflecting those differences of opinion. The Clean Transportation Fuel Standard Working Group, tasked with studying and addressing issues related to a clean transportation fuel standard, issued two reports in February:  

The Task Force on Psychedelic Medicine published their first of two required reports this month, Psychedelic Medicine Task Force: Legislative Report (February 2024). This report provides an overview of the initial work performed by the task force, and describes their plan for the next year. Their second report is due in January 2025.

If you are searching for a specific report or waiting for a mandated report, let us know. We can set up an alert to send you the report as soon as it arrives. Please contact us with questions or for research assistance at: or 651-296-8338.

A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments book coverAs the state documents depository, the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library’s collection focuses primarily on state issues. However, the library also collects federal-level information that can be useful to legislators and legislative staff.

New this month are a few books that will give you a greater understanding of the U.S. Constitution. A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments delivers a short summary of each article of the Constitution, followed by in-depth chapters about the historical context of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This book also includes a nice timeline highlighting key moments in constitutional history - from 1215 when King John I signed the Magna Carta, to 2021 when Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

Another book that’s new to the Library this month is the six-volume Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. Although this book is not brand new (it was published in 2000), it replaces and updates our 1986 edition. This book is arranged in traditional encyclopedic fashion, with articles about topics relevant to the U.S. Constitution. You’ll find topics such as labor and the antitrust laws, DNA testing and genetic privacy, deliberative democracy, and many articles about Supreme Court cases.

You can stop in to the Library on the 6th floor of the State Office Building to take a look at these reference books. As always, please contact us with questions or for research assistance: or 651-296-8338.

Cover of the 2023 Fiscal ReviewThe Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis annual publication, Fiscal Review, is one of the most heavily used publications in the Legislative Reference Library. The Library’s paper copies are lovingly worn and the digital archive, reaching back to the first publication in 1975, is an invaluable resource. 

A new issue of Fiscal Review was published last month, and provides detailed coverage the budgetary actions in the 2023 legislative session. This year's issue is much longer than those in years past, for two primary reasons. A bevy of budget bills passed this year, including the 2023-2024 state budget and large new programs like adult-use cannabis and paid parental leave. The other reason for this issue's length is a focus on improving the usability of this invaluable publication. 

Several style changes were made this year, including: a different font type and size, increased line spacing, and a revised table format. Editors reduced the use of acronyms to provide greater clarity for readers, and included a QR code so that someone holding a physical copy can quickly open a PDF version.

To celebrate the recent release of the 2023 edition of Fiscal Review, the office of Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis and the Legislative Reference Library invite you to the Legislative Reference Library's space on the third floor of the Senate Building (3238 MSB) on Wednesday, November 15th at 1:00pm. Cookies will be served!

Five CALCO-themed cupcakes arranged on a platter.In 1973, Minnesota state government libraries, including the Legislative Reference Library, collaborated to form the Capitol Area Library Consortium (CALCO). Minitex is publishing a brief series on CALCO libraries to celebrate this milestone, and the Legislative Reference Library was honored to be the first library profiled!

For the past 50 years, CALCO libraries have benefited from partnership with other like-minded libraries, have readily shared ideas, and have brainstormed solutions to unique problems faced in special libraries. Earlier this year, Governor Walz recognized this group of libraries with a proclamation.

In September, CALCO marked its 50th anniversary with an open house gathering of current and former state government library staff. We shared memories, recounted stories, played CALCO trivia, and enjoyed CALCO-themed cupcakes! 


House and Senate journals on a shelf in the libraryBeyond collecting and adding new materials to our collection each month (like this month's new reports from the Met Council, the Department of Agriculture, and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission), the Library also regularly adds new subscription services, especially ones that serve the specialized research needs of legislative staff. These include products like Westlaw for legal research and the Bloomberg BNA Tax Library for tax and fiscal analysts, both of which we have had for a number of years. 

Last month we added a new subscription service, previously only available to Library staff. Our LLMC Digital Subscription is now available to anyone working on the Legislative campus, or connected to VPN when working from home. This resource provides access to House Journals and Senate Journals from territorial times through 1990. This means you can search across journal years for unique floor occurrences - like a "protest and dissent" - or search a specific volume for legislation using a keyword - especially handy if you don't know the bill number. House Journals are available on the Legislature's website from 1994 to the present, and Senate journals are available from 1995 to the present, which means almost all journals are now accessible online.

Summer is also a time for bigger projects in the Library. So in addition to providing access to this subscription resource, we are also working to digitize House and Senate journals from 1973 to 1994. This will allow us to incorporate digital versions of the journal into legislative webpages directly, ensuring access to these vital records into the future.

As always, please contact us with questions, for research assistance, or to borrow any of the materials on this month's list: or 651-296-8338.

About 90 high school juniors from across Minnesota participated in the House of Representative's High School Page Program during the course of the 2023 legislative session. This highly regarded program was established in 1975. After a few years' hiatus during the pandemic, we were glad to see these students at the Capitol again!

Each week, the students' schedule is packed, ensuring they learn about every aspect of the legislative process. Students meet with legislators and other government officials, serve as pages on the House floor, conduct research in the Library, and hold a mock committee hearing.

Tom Holien, who has coordinated the program for the past few years, works tirelessly each week to create an enriching and informative experience for each group of pages who participate!  

Magnolias blooming on the Capitol groundsPeople often ask the library about salaries of Minnesota legislators. Currently, legislator salaries are set at $48,250, but that will soon change. The latest issue of the Report of the Legislative Salary Council, new this month in the Library, sets legislators’ salaries at $52,750 beginning July 1, 2023. 

Prior to 2016, the Minnesota Constitution provided that legislators’ compensation was prescribed by law. A constitutional amendment regarding how legislators’ salaries are set was adopted by the voters in the 2016 election, which also happens to be our most recent constitutional amendment. The Legislative Salary Council’s first prescribed salary for legislators went into effect July 1, 2017. More details about legislator compensation are noted in the FAQ and our chart of Compensation of Minnesota Legislators, 1858 - present

Another new report this month is the Recommendations of the Minnesota State Compensation Council. This report, as indicated by the title, is not prescriptive but instead contains recommendations for compensation levels for the governor, other constitutional officers, judges, and several other officials. The Legislature can establish a new salary for the governor through an appropriation, or by passing a law that provides for a specific salary, or by providing for a percentage change in the salary. Under current law, if the Legislature does nothing, the salary does not change.

To see a chart of how these recommendations have related to the governor’s salary over time, see the library’s new Minnesota Governor’s Salary, 1983-Present page. Since their beginning in 1983, the Compensation Council has made recommendations nearly every odd-numbered year, but they did not meet in 2003, 2011, or in 2015. 

Contact us with questions, for research assistance, or to borrow these books and reports or any of the materials on this month's list: or 651-296-8338.

Winning the lottery is an irresistible dream—despite its unlikeliness—for the 33 million Americans who try their luck each week. The modern era of state-operated lotteries began in 1964 in New Hampshire. In the last fifty-nine years, all but five states have established lotteries.   

For a Dollar and a Dream: State Lotteries in Modern America by Jonathan D. Cohen (Oxford University Press, 2022) is a comprehensive study of American lotteries. Cohen asserts that just as individuals pin their hopes and dreams on winning an enormous jackpot, policymakers gamble on lotteries, too, to generate a new source of revenue for sagging budgets without raising taxes. 

Minnesota was the 33rd state to establish a lottery. Minnesotans approved a constitutional amendment to allow a state-run lottery in 1988 with a 58 percent majority. The Minnesota State Lottery began selling tickets a year and a half later. 

The most recent Minnesota Lottery Annual Report states that Minnesota Lottery winners took home $470 million in prizes in fiscal year 2022 and generated $172.6 million for the state. The funds go toward programs dedicated to the protection and preservation of Minnesota’s environmental and natural resources and to responsible gambling programs. The Lottery annual reports provide basic financial figures for each year since it was established. 

Contact us with questions, for research assistance, or to borrow these books and reports: or 651-296-8338. 

Environmental History

By David Schmidtke

In the new book, Nature's Crossroads: The Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota, editors George Vrtis and Christopher Wells have compiled an extensive environmental history of the state of Minnesota, with a particular focus on the relationship between the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.

Divided into three sections, the first part “The Dynamics of Environmental Change: Cities, Commodities, Hinterlands,” explores the early relationship of the Twin Cities to the “hinterlands” – the authors’ moniker for greater Minnesota. In the second part, “The Twin Cities and the Built Environment,” the authors focus on the Twin Cities’ “urban confines.”

And the last part, “Environmental Politics, Thought, and Justice,” looks at how the environmental movement has influenced various regions and at times created tension between different geographic areas of Minnesota.

For more environmental history, be sure and check out the March-April 2023 Minnesota Conservation Volunteer article, “Paddling Into the Past: Three canoeists retrace the path of Arthur Carhart, a key character in the Boundary Waters origin story.” Side-by-side photos from the 1921 and 2022 trips illustrate the beauty of this Minnesota treasure.