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Minnesota Legislative History Research Guide

Library staff assistance should not be construed as a substitute for professional legal research aid.

Legislative history is the background and events leading to the enactment of a statute, including hearings, committee reports, and floor debates. Legislative history is sometimes recorded so that it can later be used to aid in interpreting the statute. - Black's Law Dictionary, 9th edition.

While the process of creating laws in Minnesota has not changed much since Minnesota became a state, the process of researching legislative history has changed significantly with advances in technology. Since 1995, a lot of legislative research can be done online. Prior to that, print resources must be used.

Legislative history involves looking at the records of House and Senate committee meetings and floor sessions. Official print records include the journals of the House and Senate and committee minute books. Recordings of committee meetings and floor sessions may be available as early as 1991.

See the Library's Minnesota Legislative History: Location of Materials for detailed information on the availability and location of legislative history materials.

Steps for Legislative History Research

See also Minnesota Legislative History - Location of Materials