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Minnesota Legal Research

A guide of resources for researching Minnesota law.

Minnesota State Legislature

Minnesota Constitution


The Constitution of Minnesota was adopted in 1857, but at the time, intense animosity between the Republicans and Democrats resulted in two separate documents being drawn up so members of one party would not have to sign a document containing the signatures of members of the other party. The rush to create two copies resulted in over 300 differences between the two documents, but fortunately these differences were all in grammar and style rather than in substance.

In 1947 and 1948, there was an attempt to reform the constitution through a Constitutional Commission which recommended major changes to the document. The call for a constitutional convention did not pass the legislature, but many of the recommendations were adopted by the legislature in the years following.

In 1971 a Constitutional Study Commission was created to make recommendations for constitutional revision. The commission drafted a restructured constitution to correct grammatical and stylistic errors and remove language that was outdated or unnecessary. This document was introduced in the 1974 legislative session as Senate File 1713. It was enacted into law (1974 Minn. Laws 787) and ratified by the public in the 1974 general election.


The text of the constitution is printed at the beginning of the Minnesota Statutes, as well as in the following resources:

Minnesota Statutes

The official version of Minnesota Statutes is published in print by the state every even numbered year, with pocket parts or free standing supplements published in odd numbered years.

Annotated Minnesota Statutes

Unofficial, annotated versions of the statutes are available in print from West Publishing, and on Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law. These annotated versions of the statutes will lead a researcher to cases and to other resources (law review articles, treatises, etc.) that will help explain the statutes and their application.

Historic Minnesota Statutes

Minnesota Session Laws

The Minnesota session laws are published during and at the end of each legislative session. In print, the laws are published initially in the Minnesota Session Law Service, a series of pamphlets that are issued during the session.  After the session is over, the laws are published as the Session Laws of the State of Minnesota.

Historic Minnesota Session Laws

Minnesota Legislation

The Legislative Sessions

The Minnesota Legislature meets every biennium, a two year time period based on the budget cycle. In the first year of the biennium (the odd numbered years), the regular session starts the first Tuesday after the first Monday of January. In the even numbered years, the legislature reconvenes on a date agreed upon by the House and Senate. In each year, the legislature must adjourn by the first Monday following the third Saturday of May.

Bills passed in a session generally take effect August 1 of that year, unless otherwise specified.

Minnesota Legislature Resources