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Legislative History Research: Overview

A guide for researching the history of the Minnesota State Legislature.


Legislative history research can be complicated, but researchers who follow a step-by-step process can find the materials available on any given bill or statute.  

These basic steps are:

  1. Identify the bill(s) that interest you by year and House or Senate file number.
  2. Use the House and Senate Journals to determine the action taken and which committees heard the bill.
  3. Locate and read the applicable committee minutes.
  4. Find the audio taped discussions of the bill (1991 and later).
  5. Research a companion bill from the opposite legislative body.
  6. Identify other potential sources of information.


Note: Original materials from 1998 and earlier are available at the Minnesota Historical Society Library, while those from after 1998 are held by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.  Many older materials are only available in their original paper formats.  


Helpful Legislative History Research Links

Research Options

Related Research Guides & Webpages

Guide Author

Jenny McElroy
Reference Librarian

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Currently open by appointment only.