Minnesota Session Laws

The Session Laws of the State of Minnesota are those acts and resolutions which have been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. They are often referred to as "Session Laws" or the "Laws of Minnesota." They should not be confused with the Statutes.

Each session of the legislature enacts legislation. These acts are documented in the Session Laws. After the legislative session adjourns, the Revisor of Statutes subject-classifies the acts and places them In their proper place In the Statutes.

In recent years the Session Laws have typically been a multivolume set.

Session Laws are chronologically arranged and differ from Statutes which are laws arranged by subject or topic.

Session Laws are consecutively numbered. As each bill passes the legislature and becomes law, it is assigned a chapter number. Therefore, a chapter number alone is not easily found unless you also have the session year. A Chapter number is NOT the same number the law will have when It is placed In the Statutes.

If you have both Session Laws and Statutes available to you it would be beneficial to compare one with the other. They have a similar look but are different in their purpose. Session Laws are all the laws passed by that particular session of the legislature while Statutes are those laws currently in force. Therefore It is likely that some laws in any particular volume of the Session Laws may have been repealed or amended.

Each Session Law Chapter number is accompanied by an "H.F." or "S.F." number. These stand for House File number or Senate File number respectively. These numbers are similar to "bill numbers" in the United States Congress. The File number is important for the researcher since many legislative documents refer to the File number.

The first volume contains two alphabetical lists. One is officers and members of the Senate with district number and counties they represent; the other is officers and members of the House and the district numbers and counties they represent.

There is a subject index In the last volume which refers the user to the proper chapter, article and section in the Session Laws. The last volume of the set has tables which contain:

  1. Session laws amended or repealed at the 2XXX regular session.

  2. This table cites a previous session law and indicates where the user can find legislation which affected it.

  3. Minnesota Statutes New. Amended or Repealed

  4. This table lists any Statute which has been affected by the current legislative session. Any present Statute Chapter, Section and Subdivision which have in some way been changed by the current legislative session will be listed with the Session Law Chapter, Article and Section which affected It.

  5. Senate and House Files enacted at the 2XXX Regular Session

  6. This is a cross reference table from a House or Senate File number to the Session Law Chapter number.

  7. Special Laws ... Relating to Local Government Units

  8. These tables are alphabetical lists of governmental units with references to Session Law chapter numbers, approval dates and filing dates.

Resolutions passed by the legislature are found in the last volume immediately following the laws but before the tables and index.

Session Laws for special or extraordinary sessions are often published in a supplemental volume.

Session laws are on the web at http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/statutes.asp.

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This page was last updated on November 17, 2003.