- The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Mason's
Manual of Legislative Procedure shall govern the Senate in all
cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not
inconsistent with these rules and orders of the Senate and the
joint rules and orders of the Senate and House of
Hour of convening
- The Senate shall convene on days of meeting at 8:30 a.m.
unless the Senate directs otherwise.
- The President shall take the chair at the hour to which the
Senate adjourned. The President shall immediately call the
members to order and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall
proceed with the regular order of business. The President shall
preserve order and decorum, may speak on points of order in
preference to members, and shall also decide all questions of
order, subject to an appeal to the Senate by a member. An appeal
is decided by a majority vote of those present and voting. Upon
an appeal from the decision of the President, the question is,
"Shall the decision of the President be the judgment of the
Substitutes for the President
- The President may call a member to preside. In the absence
of the President the Chair of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, or the Chair's designee, shall preside over the
Senate. In the absence of the President and the Chair, a member
may be selected by the Senate to perform the duties of the
President. Substitutions do no extend beyond adjournment.
Absence of members
- No member or officer of the Senate shall be absent from a
session of the Senate unless excused by the Senate.
Decorum during business
- When the President puts a question, or addresses the Senate,
no one shall walk out of or cross the Chamber. When a member is
speaking, no one shall pass between the member speaking and the
President. No member, or other person, shall proceed to or
remain by the Secretary's desk while the yeas and nays are being
called or counted. No member may speak without using a
Order of business
- The order of business is as follows:
- Petitions, letters, remonstrances.
- Executive and official communications.
- Messages from the House of Representatives.
- First reading of House bills.
- Reports of committees.
- From standing committees.
- From select committees.
- Second reading of Senate bills.
- Second reading of House bills.
- Motions and Resolutions.
- Consent Calendar.
- General Orders.
- Introduction and first reading of Senate bills.
- Announcements of Senate interest.
Under the order of business of Motions and Resolutions the Senate
may by a majority vote of the whole Senate temporarily revert or
proceed to any other order of business.
- The Secretary shall make a Calendar of all bills, resolutions
and other matters coming before the Senate for final action. The
Secretary shall place them on the Calendar in the order in which
they have been acted upon in the Committee of the Whole. The
Calendar shall be printed and placed upon the members' desk at
least one calendar day before the matters on it are considered.
- If a committee determines that a bill it recommends to pass is
of a routine nature or otherwise of a nature which likely will
not be opposed, it may in its report recommend that the bill be
placed on the Consent Calendar. If the report is adopted, the
bill shall be printed and placed on the Consent Calendar after
its second reading. On the question of adoption of the report
the question of accepting the recommendation that the bill be
placed on the Consent Calendar may be divided from the question
of adopting the report in other respects.
A majority of the whole Senate, or the Chair of the Committee on
Rules and Administration, may order a bill on General Orders to
be placed on the Consent Calendar.
The Consent Calendar consists of bills placed on it. Senate
bills shall be positioned ahead of House bills. The Consent
Calendar shall be printed and placed on the members' desks at
lease on calendar day before the matters on it are considered.
If a member objects to consideration of a bill on the Consent
Calendar at any time during its consideration in the Senate
before the question on final passage is put, and that objection
is supported by at least two other members, the bill shall be
referred to the Committee of the Whole, and shall be placed at
the bottom of General Orders subject to Rule 11, except that it
need not lie over one calendar day before consideration in the
Committee of the Whole.
- The Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration may
designate a special order for a bill that has been given its
A special order shall provide that the bill be considered
immediately, at a time certain, or after specific other business
During consideration of a special order, Rule 20 is suspended.
As nearly as applicable, debate on the bill and all proceedings
including amendments and substitutions shall be that of the
Committee of the Whole.
On any question a member may call for the yeas and nays which
shall be entered in the Journal.
Unless it is otherwise disposed of, after consideration a bill on
Special Orders of the Senate shall immediately proceed to its
third reading and final passage.
A bill may not be made a special order if the chief author has
declined on three previous occasions to take the bill up after it
was designated a special order.
- The Secretary shall make a list of all bills, resolutions,
reports of committees, and other proceedings of the Senate, which
are referred to the Committee of the whole, and which are not
made the order of the day, for a particular day, and number them.
The lists are called the "General Orders." They shall be taken
up in the order in which they are numbered unless otherwise
ordered by a majority of the committee.
General Orders, together with all bills included on it required
to be printed under the rules or orders of the Senate, shall be
printed and placed upon the members' desks at least one calendar
day before being considered in Committee of the Whole.
- When a motion is made it shall be stated by the President.
If it is in writing it shall be handed to the Secretary and read
to the members.
- A motion or amendment shall be written if the President or a
member requests. In that case it must identify the member or
committee offering it.
- After a motion is stated by the President, or read by the
Secretary, it is in possession of the Senate, but may be
withdrawn by the author at any time before decision or amendment.
Precedence of motions
- When a question is under debate no motion shall be received,
- To adjourn.
- To recess.
- To reconsider.
- To lay on the table.
- For the previous question.
(Motions numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5 above shall be decided
- To refer.
- To postpone to a day certain.
- To amend.
- To postpone indefinitely.
These several motions have precedence in the foregoing order; but
when a motion for the previous question has been seconded, or the
main question ordered, a motion to lay on the table is not in
A motion to postpone to a day certain, to refer, to postpone
indefinitely, or to amend, having been decided, shall not again
be put on the same day, nor at the same stage of the bill or
Motion to adjourn
- A motion to adjourn is always in order, and also a motion to
adjourn to a time certain. The latter motion is debatable solely
as to the time. When either motion is rejected it shall not be
renewed until further business has been transacted.
- Amendments to rules and suspension of rules
Every proposition to amend a rule of the Senate shall be
referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. The
proposition shall not be acted upon until the report of the
committee is received by the Senate. A rule shall not be
suspended except by at least two-thirds vote of the whole Senate.
A motion to suspend the rules for the purpose of advancing a bill
shall be made only under the order of business, "Motions and
Order in debate
- When a member is about to speak in debate, or deliver a
matter to the Senate, the member shall rise and respectfully
address "Mr. (or Madam) President." The member shall not proceed
to speak further until recognized by the President. The member
shall speak only to the question under debate and avoid
personality. In discussing a resolution, each member is limited
to ten minutes.
- When a member is called to order, the member shall be silent
until it is determined whether or not the member is in order. If
a member is called to order for words spoken in debate, the words
excepted to shall be taken down in writing by the Secretary
- No member shall speak more than twice on the same question
on the same day without leave of the Senate.
Committees not to be absent
- Committees shall not be absent from the Senate without
permission of the Senate. The names of the members excused shall
be printed in the Journal.
Members to vote unless excused
- Every member who is in the Senate Chamber during a roll call
shall vote upon the request of another member unless, for special
reasons, excused by the Senate.
A motion by a member to be excused from voting shall be made
before the question is put. A member wishing to be excused from
voting may make a brief statement of the reason for making the
request and the question on the motion shall be taken without
When members have had an opportunity to vote and fail to do so, a
majority of all the members of the Senate may, by motion, direct
the President to close the roll. The vote on a motion to close
the roll shall be taken without debate and no member is required
to vote on the motion.
Call of the Senate
- A member may impose a call of the Senate requiring the
attendance of all members before any further proceedings occur
except a motion to adjourn. Upon the imposition of a call, a
record of those present shall be obtained upon the request of any
member, and the Sergeant at Arms instructed to bring in the
absent members. When the Senate has been placed under call, a
member may demand that the doors be closed and no member
permitted to leave the Chamber until the matter or question, if
any, under consideration at the time of the call is disposed of,
or until the call is lifted by a majority vote of all the members
of the Senate, or until the Senate adjourns. A majority vote of
all the members of the Senate may excuse from attendance members
not answering the call.
A call cannot be made after voting has commenced.
Questions--how stated and decided
- Questions shall be distinctly put. The President shall
declare all votes but if a member rises to question a vote, the
President shall order a division.
Only members present to vote
- Upon a division and count of the Senate on a question, only
members present in the Senate Chamber shall be counted. No
member may vote on a question except at the member's own seat in
Any member may demand yeas and nays
- At any time prior to the start of voting on a question, a
member may call for the yeas and nays which shall be entered in
the Journal. A call for the yeas and nays cannot be interrupted
except as provided in Rule 22.
Authorized electrical voting device
- Unless otherwise ordered, a vote, except upon elections and
upon the overriding of a governor's veto, may be taken by means
of the electrical voting system which is under the control of the
Certificate for money
- No certificate authorizing the payment of money appropriated
by the Legislature shall be issued by the Secretary by virtue of
a motion or resolution, unless the motion or resolution is voted
for by a majority of all members of the Senate upon a call of the
yeas and nays.
The previous question
- Unless the motion for the previous question is made
specifically applicable to a subsidiary motion, the previous
questions shall be in this form:
"Shall the main question now be put?" It shall only be admitted
when demanded by a majority of the members present, and its
effect is to put an end to all debate, and bring the Senate to a
direct vote upon amendments reported by a committee, if any, then
upon all pending amendments in their order and then upon the main
On a motion for the previous question a call of the Senate is in
order before the President submits the question to the Senate.
On a previous question there is no debate. All incidental
questions of order, arising after a motion is made for the
previous question, and pending the motion, shall be decided,
whether on appeal or otherwise, without debate.
Division of question
- A member may call for a division of the question when the
question will admit of it. A motion to strike out and insert is
indivisible. A motion to strike out being lost does not preclude
an amendment nor a motion to strike out and insert.
- When a motion or question has been once put and carried in
the affirmative or negative, it is in order for a member who
voted with the prevailing side to move for reconsideration on the
same day on which the vote was taken or within the next two
calendar days or, if later, the first day the Senate meets after
the vote was taken. The motion takes precedence over all other
questions except a motion to adjourn or recess. When a motion to
adjourn is adopted prior to the disposition of the motion for
reconsideration, a motion for reconsideration shall lie over
until the next succeeding day the Senate meets except as provided
in this rule. When notice of intention to move reconsideration
of the final action of the Senate on a question is given by a
member, the Secretary shall retain the subject of the notice
until after the expiration of the time during which the motion
can be made.
During the six calendar days before the first Tuesday following
the third Saturday in May of any year a notice of intention to
move for reconsideration is not in order, but a motion to
reconsider may be made and have priority over all other business
except a motion to adjourn. A motion for reconsideration having
been once voted on shall not be put again or reconsidered.
Introduction of bills
- Bills, memorials, concurrent or joint resolutions may be
introduced by a member or by order of the Senate on a report of a
committee. An original and three copies are required for
introduction. The number of authors shall not exceed five. A
member of a committee desiring to introduce a bill, memorial or
concurrent or joint resolution shall place it in the hands of the
Secretary, and the Secretary shall promptly deliver all the
bills, memorials or concurrent or joint resolutions to the
president who shall present them to the Senate.
The name of the author or authors shall be prefixed to each bill,
memorial or resolution and the name of a committee introducing a
bill, memorial or resolution shall be endorsed on it.
Recess bill introductions
- During the period between the last day of the session in any
odd-numbered year and the first day of the session in the
following year, a bill filed with the Secretary for introduction
shall be given a file number and may be unofficially referred by
the President, with the approval of the Chair of the Committee
on Rules and Administration, to the appropriate standing
committee of the Senate. All bills filed for introduction during
this period shall be presented to the Senate when it reconvenes
and shall be referred to the standing committees previous
indicated by the President, subject to objection under Rule 35.
Reporting of bills
- Every bill, memorial, order, resolution or vote requiring
the approval of the governor shall be reported to the Senate on
three different days previous to its passage. The first report,
called the first reading, is made when it has been received for
introduction; the second report, called the second reading, is
made when it has been considered by all the necessary standing
committees and is ready for debate; the third report, called the
third reading, is made when it is ready for final passage.
Referring of bills
- All bills shall be referred by the President without motion
to the proper standing committee unless otherwise referred by the
Senate. A bill introduced by a committee need not be referred to
a standing committee unless a question arises but rather shall
lie over one day before being given its second reading. When a
question arises concerning the proper reference of a bill during
the order of business of first reading on the day of introduction
or at the time of report on it by a standing committee to which
the bill was previously referred, the bill shall be referred
without debate to the Committee on Rules and Administration to
report the proper reference, and upon adoption of the report of
the Committee on Rules and Administration, it shall be referred
All bills appropriating money, or obligating the state to pay or
expend money, or establishing a policy which to be effective will
require expenditure of money, when referred to and reported by
any other than the Committee on Finance, shall, before passage,
be referred to the Committee on Finance.
All bills delegating emergency rulemaking to a department or
agency of state government and all bills exempting a department
or agency of state government from rulemaking, when referred to
and reported by any other than the Committee on Governmental
Operations, shall, before passage, be referred to the Committee
on Governmental Operations.
Upon request of the chair of a finance division of a policy
committee, the chair of the policy committee shall refer a bill
in that committee to the division.
- No bill or resolution shall be referred to committee or
amended until it has been given its first reading. No bill or
resolution shall be objected to on its introduction.
Amendments to be germane
- An amendment proposed to the Senate or to the Committee of
the Whole that is not germane is out of order. A non-germane
amendment includes one that relates to a substantially different
subject, or is intended to accomplish a substantially different
purpose than that of the original bill to which it is proposed.
Whether an amendment is germane is a question to be decided by
the President, who may put the question to the body if the
A motion to remove an amendment placed on a House bill under Rule
49 is out of order if removal of the amendment would make a
portion of the House bill not germane to the Senate companion for
which it is substituted.
Amendments to bills
- In drawing an amendment to a bill or resolution reference
shall be made therein, first to the number of the bill, then to
the page, and then to the line or lines from which matter is to
be stricken or in which new matter is to be inserted.
Amendments to title
- The title to a bill may be amended at any time during its
pendency in the Senate.
Recall from committee
- With the concurrence of the first author of the bill, before
the deadline for committee action on the bill a majority of the
Senate and after the deadline for committee action on the bill 60
percent of the Senate may recall a bill from any committee and
re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders.
With the concurrence of the first author of the bill, a majority
of the Senate may at any time take a bill from the table and
place it on General Orders.
By a report of the Committee on Rules and Administration adopted
by the Senate, the Committee on Rules and Administration, on
request of the first author, may remove a bill from committee and
re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders.
Distribution and printing of bills
- To the extent practical the Secretary shall provide a copy
of any bill to the public and may charge a reasonable fee.
Unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, all Senate bills which
have been reported upon favorably or without recommendation by a
committee shall be printed prior to consideration by the Senate
or the Committee of the Whole. A House bill amended by the
Senate must be unofficially engrossed and printed when placed on
General Orders. A bill may be printed by order of the Secretary
when amended after second reading. A bill shall be printed when
ordered by a majority vote of the Senate. Action by the Senate
on a bill which has not been printed is a waiver of the printing
Committee of the Whole
- All bills, memorials, orders, resolutions and votes
requiring the approval of the governor shall, after a second
reading, be considered in Committee of the Whole before they are
finally acted upon by the Senate, except as provided for in Rules
9 and 10.
- The President may call a member to the Chair when the Senate
resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole. The rules
observed in the Senate govern, as far as practicable, the
proceedings of the Committee of the Whole, and the Chair of the
Committee of the Whole has the powers of the President, as
appropriate. However, a member may speak more than twice on the
same subject and a call for the previous question cannot be made.
The yeas and nays shall be taken only upon the request of three
members, and when taken shall be recorded in the Journal along
with the amendment; provided, however, that a member may, with
the approval of the Chair of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, submit a description of the amendment for
printing. In those cases the Secretary shall retain in the
minutes of the Committee of the Whole the full text of the
- The recommendations of the Committee of the Whole shall be
reported to the Senate. If a recommendation contains a proposed
amendment of a bill, that amendment shall be noted on a separate
piece of paper but when reported need not be read by the
President unless required by one or more of the members. The
question is on the adoption or rejection of the report, and no
other question shall be admitted. The question may be divided to
permit separate Senate action on the report as to any bill. On
adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole all bills
recommended to pass shall be placed upon the Calendar.
Amendment on third reading
- No amendment is in order on third reading without the
unanimous consent of the Senate unless it fills a blank, amends
the title as provided by Rule 39, is proposed to the chief author
of the bill by the Revisor of Statutes to correct technical
defects found by the Revisor while engrossing earlier amendments
to the bill, or is proposed to a bill on the Consent Calendar
before the bill is given its third reading.
In filling blanks, the largest sum, the longest time and the
greatest distance shall be first taken.
Motion to refer
- A bill or resolution may be referred to committee at any
time prior to its passage, and if an amendment is reported on the
referral to any other than the Committee of the Whole, it shall
again be read the second time, considered in Committee of the
Whole, read the third time and placed on final passage. If the
referral is to the Committee of the whole it shall be placed at
the head of General orders, except when the referral is under
- The final question upon a bill or other matter requiring
action by both Houses after its first and second reading, and
after the consideration in Committee of the Whole is upon its
Transmitting of bills to the House
- Except as provided in Rule 31, immediately after the passage
of a bill or other matter in which the concurrence of the House
of Representatives is requested, the Secretary shall transmit it
to the House. On the concurrence of a bill or other matter of
the House by the Senate, or on the concurrence or disagreement in
a vote of the House, the Secretary shall notify the House.
Comparison and substitution of bills
- Unless there is a motion by the Chair of the Committee on
Rules and Administration or objection under Rule 35, a House
bill, after its first reading, shall be referred as follows:
- If there is no Senate companion bill, the House bill
shall be referred to the appropriate standing committee;
- If there is a Senate companion bill, the House bill
shall be referred to the standing committee possessing the Senate
- If the Senate companion bill has been reported to the
Senate, the House bill shall be referred to the Committee on
Rules and Administration, which shall report whether the House
bill is identical to the Senate companion bill. If the bills are
identical, the report shall recommend that the House bill be
given its second reading and substituted for the Senate companion
bill and the Senate companion bill be indefinitely postponed. If
the House bill is not identical to the Senate companion bill, the
report of the committee shall so state and recommend an amendment
to the House bill that when adopted will render the House bill
identical to the Senate bill. Upon adoption of a committee
report containing the proposed amendment, the House bill as
amended shall be given its second reading and substituted for the
Senate companion bill and the Senate companion bill shall be
Reports of the Committee on Rules and Administration pursuant to
this rule shall be prepared and submitted on behalf of the
committee by the Secretary.
A House bill placed on the Calendar by substitution shall not be
given its third reading on the same day as the substitution.
Engrossing and enrolling of bills
- All engrossing and enrolling of bills shall be done at the
direction and under authority of the Senate. Every bill,
memorial, order or resolution originating in the Senate shall be
carefully engrossed before being transmitted to the House of
Representatives for concurrence. All bills shall be carefully
enrolled under the supervision of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, which may report to the Senate at any time on the
enrollment of bills.
Disposition of bills on adjournment
- Adjournment of the regular session in an odd-numbered year
to a date certain in the following year shall be equivalent to
daily adjournment, except that a bill on the Calendar, Consent
Calendar, or General Orders shall be returned to the standing
committee other than the Committee on Rules and Administration
from which it was last reported to the Senate, unless otherwise
provided for by motion prior to adjournment. Bills returned to
committee pursuant to this rule shall, upon request of the
author, be given priority for consideration by the committee
ahead of all other bills in the order in which they appeared on
the Calendar, Consent Calendar, or General Orders.
Petitions and other communications
- In presenting a petition, memorial, remonstrance or other
communication addressed to the Senate, a member shall only state
the general purpose of it.
Every petition, memorial, remonstrance, resolution, bill and
report of committee, shall have an appropriate title, and the
name of the member presenting it written on it.
- Memorial resolutions addressed to the President or the
Congress of the United States, or a house or member of Congress,
or a department or officer of the United States, or a state or
foreign government, joint resolutions, and resolutions requiring
the signature of the governor shall follow the same procedure as
bills before being adopted.
Upon a member giving notice of intention to debate a resolution
not required to follow the same procedure as bills and not
offered by the Committee on Rules and Administration, the
resolution shall lie over one calendar day without debate or
other action. Upon the request of a member, the resolution shall
be referred to the proper committee. Whenever a question arises
concerning the proper reference the procedure provided by Rule 35
- Every gubernatorial appointment requiring the advice and
consent of the Senate shall be referred by the President to the
appropriate committee. If a question arises as to the proper
committee, the appointment shall be referred without debate to
the Committee on Rules and Administration for a report making the
The final question on the appointment is, "Will the Senate,
having given its advice, now consent to this appointment?" The
question shall not be put the same day the appointment is
received or on the day it is reported by committee unless by
Signing of acts, resolutions
- In addition to the duties under Rule 3, the President shall
sign all acts, memorials, addresses and resolutions. All writs,
warrants and subpoenas issued by the Senate shall be signed by
the President and attested by the Secretary. Upon a finding by
the Committee on Rules and Administration that the President
refuses or is unable to sign any of the documents described in
this rule, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, or some other member selected by the committee
shall assume the duties of the President under this rule until
the President is able to sign the documents described or until
the Senate elects a new President, whichever occurs first.
Appointment of committees
- The majority and minority shall each be represented on all
standing committees of the Senate substantially in proportion to
their numbers in the Senate. The majority group shall assign the
number of positions the minority group will hold on each
committee. The minority group shall be given adequate notice
about its positions prior to the commencement of the session.
Both the majority and minority groups shall appoint their own
members to fill the number of positions each group will hold on
each committee. The minority group shall transmit notice of its
assignments to the majority group within ten calendar days after
receipt of the notice of positions available. The minority
groups may designate a ranking member for each committee.
Nothing prohibits a member of the minority group from serving as
chair or vice chair of a committee, subcommittee, division, or
commission. If the minority group for any reason fails to make
its appointments pursuant to this rule, the majority groups may
make all the committee assignments.
The majority and minority committee assignments are subject to
the uniform criteria governing committee assignments applicable
to both the majority and minority. The uniform criteria shall be
promulgated by the majority group and transmitted to the minority
group together with notification of committee positions available
to the minority. Committee assignments as made by the majority
and minority groups shall be followed by the Senate in the
resolution establishing representation on all Senate standing
After the organization of the Senate, all committees of the
Senate and members of commissions to be appointed by the Senate
authorized by rule, statute, resolution or otherwise, shall be
appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on
Rules and Administration, unless otherwise provided, subject to
confirmation by the Senate. In the appointment of members of
conference committees between the two houses, the Subcommittee on
Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the
Senate shall appoint those who are in accord with the position of
the Senate, and whenever practical, give preference to authors of
bills in dispute and to members of standing committees in which
the bills were considered.
- The standing committees of the Senate are as follows:
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Commerce and Consumer Protection
- Crime Prevention
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Ethics and Campaign Reform
- Family Services
- Gaming Regulation
- Governmental Operations and Reform
- Health Care
- Jobs, Energy and Community Development
- Metropolitan and Local Government
- Rules and Administration
- Taxes and Tax Laws
- Transportation and Public Transit
- Veterans and General Legislation
The Committee on Rules and Administration may constitute a
standing Subcommittee on Committees, the report of which within
its jurisdiction has the effect of a report of the main Committee
on Rules and Administration. The subcommittee shall consist of
five members, one of whom shall be a member of the minority
Each standing committee of the Senate, including a subcommittee
of the committee, is authorized at any time sit and act, to
investigate and take testimony on any matter within its
jurisdiction, to report hearings held by it, and to make
expenditures as authorized from time to time by the standing
Committee on Rules and Administration. A standing committee, but
not a subcommittee, may require by subpoena or otherwise the
attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of
correspondence, books, papers, and documents, in the manner
provided by Minnesota Statutes, Section 3.153.
- All meetings of the Senate, its committees, committee
divisions, and subcommittees are open to the public. A meeting
of a caucus of the members of any of those bodies from the same
political party need not be open to the public. A caucus of the
Hennepin County, Ramsey County, or St. Louis County delegation is
open to the public. For purposes of this rule, a meeting occurs
when a quorum is present and action is taken regarding a matter
within the jurisdiction of the body.
To the extent practical, meetings of all committees shall be
announced to the public at least three calendar days prior to
convening. The notice shall state the name of the committee, the
bill or bills to be considered, the place and time of meeting.
The notice shall be posted on all Senate bulletin boards in the
Capitol and the State Office Building. A notice shall be sent to
the House of Representatives for posting as it deems necessary.
If the three-day requirement cannot be met, known proponents and
opponents of the bill shall be given simultaneous notice of the
meeting as soon as practicable.
Quorum in committee
- A majority of its members constitutes a quorum of a
Report of vote in committee
- Upon the request of a member of a committee or subcommittee
to which a bill has been referred, or upon the request of the
author of the bill, a record shall be made of the vote on the
bill in the committee or subcommittee, including the vote on any
amendment or proposed amendment to it, in the committee or
subcommittee to which the bill was referred.
Upon request of three members of the committee before the vote is
taken, the record of a roll call vote in a standing committee
shall accompany the committee report and be printed in the
- No report of any committee shall be made to the Senate
unless it reports action taken at a regular or special meeting of
the committee. A report in violation of this rule is out of
Employees authorized in the Senate
- The Committee on Rules and Administration shall establish
positions, set compensation, appoint employees and authorize
expense reimbursement for employees as it deems proper to carry
out the work of the Senate. At the request of any committee
member, an action of the committee shall be submitted as a Senate
resolution for adoption by the Senate. A roster of all employees
of the Senate, including positions and compensation, shall be
kept by the Secretary and shall be open for inspection by the
public. The Secretary shall post, in a public place in the
Capitol, a notice of every vacant position on the permanent staff
of the Senate. The notice must remain posted for at least two
weeks, and no vacancy may be filled until the period of posting
Budget and expenditures
- The Committee on Rules and Administration shall adopt an
operating budget for the Senate and refer it to the Committee on
All propositions for the appointment and payment of employees of
the Senate or for expenditures on account of the Legislature,
other than those provided by law, shall be referred to the
Committee on Rules and Administration without debate.
Authority over employees
- Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Committee
on Rules and Administration has full and exclusive authority
over, and charge of all employees, officers and clerks of the
Senate both elective and appointive. The committee has the sole
and exclusive power and authority to assign them to duties other
than for which they were elected or appointed as the committee
may from time to time provide. The committee has power to
appoint employees, officers or clerks as it deems proper to
exercise the power granted to it by this rule. The committee may
make rules and regulations for the government of the employees,
officers and clerks as they see fit. In case of violation of an
order of the committee by an employee, officer or clerk, or in
case of a violation of a rule or regulation made by the
committee, or in case of misconduct or omission by an employee,
officer or clerk, the Committee on Rules and Administration may
hear complaints and discharge the employee, officer or clerk or
impose other punishment by way of fine or otherwise upon the
employee, officer or clerk as the committee deems just and
Duties of the Secretary
- The Secretary shall keep a correct Journal of the
proceedings of the Senate and shall perform other duties assigned
to the Secretary. The Secretary shall not permit Journal
records, accounts or papers to be taken from the table or out of
the Secretary's custody, other than in the regular mode of
business. If a paper in the Secretary's charge is missing, the
Secretary shall report the fact to the President, so that inquiry
may be made. The Secretary shall superintend the recording of
proceedings in the Journal, the engrossing, transcribing and
copying of the bills and resolutions, supervise the assistants,
clerks and stenographers under the direction of the Committee on
Rules and Administration, and generally perform the duties of
Secretary, under direction of the President. The Secretary shall
keep a record of all Senate and House bills showing the state,
condition, and progress of each bill pending, until its final
The Secretary shall cause to be recorded on magnetic tape the
proceedings of the Senate, the Committee of the Whole, each
standing committee and standing subcommittee. Each tape shall be
clearly labeled to show the name of the body whose proceedings
are recorded and the dates the proceedings occurred. Each tape
shall be accompanied by a log showing the number of each bill
considered and the places on the tape where consideration of the
bill occurred. Within two working days after each day the Senate
is in session the Secretary shall make a copy of the tape and
corresponding log of proceedings of the Senate and the Committee
of the Whole and deliver copies to the Legislative Reference
Library. Within one week after each meeting of a standing
committee or standing subcommittee the Secretary shall make a
copy of the tape and corresponding log of the meeting and deliver
the copies to the Legislative Reference Library. Upon completion
and approval of the minutes of the meeting, a copy of the minutes
shall be promptly delivered to the Legislative Reference Library. The Secretary shall keep a record of each session of the Senate
and the Committee of the Whole, each meeting of a Senate standing
committee or standing subcommittee, and the date on which a tape
recording of the session or meeting was transmitted to the
Legislative Reference Library. The Library shall keep a similar
record of all tapes received. The Library shall provide
committee staff with reasonable access to Senate tapes and shall
provide the public with convenient facilities to listen to the
tapes. Copies of Senate tapes shall be available to the public
from the Secretary, for a fee determined by the Secretary to be
adequate to cover the cost of preparing the copies. A copy shall
be provided free to a member of the Senate upon request for use
in legislative business. The original tape and log of each
session of the Senate and the Committee of the Whole shall be
kept by the Secretary until the end of the period for which the
members of the existing House of Representatives have been
elected, at which time the tape may be preserved or disposed of
as the Secretary sees fit. Tapes, logs, and minutes forwarded to
the Legislative Reference Library shall be kept by the Library
until two years after the end of the period for which the members
of the existing Senate have been elected, at which time they may
be preserved or disposed of as the Library sees fit. It is the
intention that testimony and discussion preserved under this rule
not be admissible in any court or administrative proceeding on an
issue of legislative intent.
- The Journal of each day's proceedings is open for correction
at any time during the session of the next day the Senate meets.
Unless corrected on that day, the Journal stands approved.
Secretary may correct errors
- The Secretary of the Senate and Engrossing Secretary, in all
proper cases, shall correct all mistakes in numbering the
sections and reference to them, whether the errors occur in the
original bill or are caused by amendments to it.
- The Secretary is the agent of the Senate for the purchase of
supplies. The Secretary's records on purchase of supplies are
open for inspection during normal business hours. The Secretary
shall adopt administrative controls to ensure that each member is
accountable for the member's own long distance telephone calls
and that Senate telephones are used only for Senate business.
By the 15th day of April, July, October and January of each year,
the Secretary of the Senate shall submit a detailed report of
Senate expenditures during the previous quarter to the Committee
on Rules and Administration.
Duties of the Sergeant at Arms
- The Sergeant at Arms shall execute all orders of the
President and perform all assigned duties connected with the
police and good order of the Senate Chamber; exercise supervision
over the entry and exit of all persons to and from the Chamber;
see that messages are promptly delivered; see that the hall is
properly ventilated and the temperature properly regulated, and
that it is open for the use of members of the Senate at the time
fixed; and perform all other services pertaining to the office of
Persons privileged to the floor of the Senate
- No person shall be admitted within the Senate Chamber, but a
member, an officer, the constitutional officers, ex-governors of
the state of Minnesota, members of the House, judges of the trial
and appellate courts and members of Congress. Those who have
been members of Congress or of the state Legislature who are not
interested in any claim or directly in a bill pending before the
Legislature may be personally admitted by a member of the Senate.
An employee of either house may be admitted at the request of a
member or an officer of the Senate. The head of a department of
state government may be admitted by the President. When a
member-elect is sworn in, the member-elect may request that one
guest be admitted. When the Senate is not meeting, a person not
a member may be admitted to the floor at the request of a member
or officer. No public hearings shall be held in the Senate
Chamber. The retiring room of the Senate is reserved for the
exclusive use of the members of the Senate at all times. The
Sergeant at Arms shall strictly enforce this rule.
Privilege of reporters
- Provision shall be made for news reporters on the Senate
floor in limited numbers, and in the Senate gallery. Because of
limited space on the floor, permanent space is limited to those
news agencies which have regularly covered the Legislature,
namely: The Associated Press, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Star
Tribune, Duluth News-Tribune and Herald, Fargo Forum, Rochester
Post-Bulletin, St. Cloud Daily Times, WCCO radio, KSTP radio and
Minnesota Public Radio. An additional two spaces shall be
provided to other reporters if space is available.
One person from each named agency and one person from the Senate
Publications Office may be present at the press table on the
Senate floor at any one time.
Other news media personnel may occupy seats provided in the
The Committee on Rules and Administration may, through committee
action or by delegating authority to the Secretary, allow
television filming on the Senate floor on certain occasions.
The Secretary of the Senate shall compile and distribute to the
public a directory of reporters accredited to report from the
Senate floor. The directory must include each reporter's picture
and news organization and a brief biography. The Secretary must
issue each accredited reporter an identification badge showing
the reporter's name and news organization.
- In case of a disturbance or disorderly conduct in the
lobbies or galleries, the President may order them cleared.
Picture taking by persons other than accredited news reporters,
picture taking with floodlights or flash units, hand clapping,
demonstration, and food and beverages, are prohibited in the
Senate Chamber and in the galleries.
Introduction of visitors
- No introduction of a visitor or visitors in the galleries
shall be made from the floor or rostrum of the Senate.
- No person is permitted to smoke in the Senate Chamber,
Retiring Room, hearing rooms, or other spaces under the control
of the Senate. There shall be no smoking in the visitors section
of the galleries.
- The Subcommittee on Committees shall appoint a Special
Committee on Ethical Conduct consisting of four members, two from
the majority and two from the minority.
The committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to a member or
employee upon written request and shall issue recommendations to
the member or employee.
A lobbyist shall not appear before a Senate committee pursuant to
his employment unless the lobbyist is in compliance with the law
requiring lobbyist registration, Minnesota Statutes, Sections
10A.03 to 10A.06. A lobbyist when appearing before a committee
shall disclose to the committee those in whose interest the
lobbyist speaks and the purpose of the lobbyist's appearance. A
lobbyist shall not knowingly furnish false or misleading
information or make a false or misleading statement that is
relevant and material to a matter before the Senate or any of its
committees when the lobbyist knows or should know it will
influence the judgment or action of the Senate or any of its
committees thereon. A lobbyist shall not exert undue influence
or expend improper sums of money in connection with any
The committee shall investigate a complaint by a member of the
Senate in writing under oath received during a legislative
session regarding improper conduct by a member or employee of the
Senate or a lobbyist. The committee has the powers of a standing
committee to issue subpoenas pursuant to Minnesota Statutes,
Section 3.153. In order to determine whether there is probable
cause to believe that improper conduct has occurred, the
committee may, by a vote of three of its members, conduct a
preliminary inquiry in executive session to which the
requirements of Rule 58 do not apply. Upon a finding of probable
cause, further proceedings on the complaint are open to the
public. If, after investigation, the committee finds the
complaint substantiated by the evidence, it shall recommend to
the Senate appropriate disciplinary action.
Any person may submit to the Chair of the Committee on Rules and
Administration a complaint that members have violated the open
meeting requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 3.055. A
member of the Senate may submit the complaint either orally or in
writing; others must submit the complaint in writing. Whether
the complaint was written or oral, the Chair of the Committee on
Rules and Administration shall immediately forward it in writing
to the Special Committee on Ethical Conduct without disclosing
the identity of the complainant. The complaint must not be
further disclosed, except to the members against whom the
complaint was made, unless the complaint was made by a member of
the Senate in writing under oath, in which case the investigatory
procedures of this rule apply.
Members shall adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct
as embodied in the Minnesota Constitution, state law, and these
A member shall not publish or distribute written material if the
member knows or has reason to know that the material includes any
statement that is false or clearly misleading, concerning a
public policy issue or concerning the member's or another
member's voting record or position on a public policy issue.