A Senate resolution
adopting Permanent Rules of the Senate.
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the State of Minnesota:
The Permanent Rules of the Senate for the 86th Legislature shall read as follows:
PERMANENT RULES OF THE SENATE
86TH LEGISLATURE (2009 - 2010)
The rules of parliamentary practice contained in Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure
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
2.REPORTING OF BILLS
Every bill, memorial, order, resolution or vote requiring the approval of the Governor must
be reported to the Senate on three different days before its passage.
(a) The first report, called the first reading, is made when it has been received for
(b) 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.
(c) The third report, called the third reading, is made when it is ready for final passage.
3.1Bills, memorials, and concurrent or joint resolutions may be introduced by a member
or by a standing committee.
3.2The name of the author, authors, or committee must be written on the bill, memorial or
resolution. The number of authors may not exceed five.
3.3An original and two copies are required for introduction.
3.4A member or a committee desiring to introduce a bill, memorial or concurrent or joint
resolution shall deliver it to the office 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.
3.5During 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
must 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 an appropriate standing committee
of the Senate. All bills filed for introduction during this period must be presented to the Senate
when it reconvenes and must be referred to the standing committees previously indicated by the
President, subject to objection to the referral under Rule 4.10.
4.1The President shall refer each bill without motion to the proper standing committee
unless otherwise referred by the Senate.
4.2A bill or resolution may not be referred to committee or amended until it has been
given its first reading.
4.3A member may not object to a bill or resolution on its introduction.
4.4All 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, must be referred before passage to
the Committee on Finance.
4.5All bills delegating 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 State and Local Government Operations and
Oversight, must be referred before passage to the Committee on State and Local Government
Operations and Oversight.
4.6All bills creating a new commission, council, task force, board, or other body to
which a member of the legislature will be appointed must be referred before passage both to the
Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight and to the Committee on
Rules and Administration.
4.7All bills authorizing or increasing a sentence of imprisonment to a state correctional
institution must be referred before passage to the Committee on Judiciary.
4.8All resolutions required to follow the same procedure as bills must be referred before
passage to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
4.9A bill introduced by a committee need not be referred to a standing committee unless a
question arises. It must lie over one day before being given its second reading.
4.10A member may question the reference of a bill during the order of business of first
reading on the day of introduction. When a member questions the reference of a bill, the bill must
be referred without debate to the Committee on Rules and Administration to report the proper
reference. Upon adoption of the report of the Committee on Rules and Administration, the bill
must be referred accordingly.
5.RECALL FROM COMMITTEE
5.1With the concurrence of the chief author of the bill, before the deadline for committee
action on a bill, a majority of the whole Senate may recall the bill from a committee and re-refer it
to any other committee or place it on General Orders. After the committee deadline for action
on a bill, 41 affirmative votes of the whole Senate may recall the bill from any committee and
re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders.
5.2By a report of the Committee on Rules and Administration adopted by the Senate, the
Committee on Rules and Administration, on request of the chief author, may remove a bill from
committee and re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders.
6.1Memorial 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
must follow the same procedure as bills before being adopted.
6.2A resolution may not be changed to a bill, and a bill may not be changed to a resolution.
6.3When a member gives notice of intent 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 must lie over one calendar day without debate or other action.
6.4Upon the request of a member, the resolution must be referred to the proper committee.
If a question arises concerning the proper reference the procedure provided by Rule 4.10 applies.
7.1The Committees on Taxes and on Finance must hold hearings as necessary to determine
state revenues and appropriations for the fiscal biennium.
7.2 Within 30 days after the last state general fund revenue and expenditure forecast for
4.2 the next fiscal biennium becomes available during the regular session in the odd-numbered year,
4.3 and after receiving from the Committee on Taxes a resolution containing its recommendation
4.4 on the maximum limit on revenues and an amount to be set aside as a budget reserve and a cash
4.5 flow account, the Committee on Finance must adopt and report to the Senate a budget resolution,
4.6 in the form of a Senate resolution. The budget resolution must set: (1) the maximum limit on
4.7 revenues and net appropriations for the next fiscal biennium for the general fund; and (2) an
4.8 amount or amounts to be set aside as a budget reserve and a cash flow account. The budget
4.9 resolution must not specify, limit, or prescribe revenues or appropriations by any category other
4.10 than those specified in clauses (1) and (2). If the Committee on Finance recommends a maximum
4.11 limit on revenues or an amount for the budget reserve or cash flow account that differs from
4.12 the amount recommended by the Committee on Taxes, the recommendation of the Committee
4.13 on Finance must be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration before it may be
4.14 considered by the Senate.
4.15 7.3 After the Senate adopts the budget resolution, the limits in the resolution are effective
4.16 during the regular session in the year in which the resolution is adopted, unless the Senate, acting
4.17 upon a subsequent report of the Committee on Taxes as to revenues or of the Committee on
4.18 Finance as to appropriations, adopts a different limit or limits for the same fiscal biennium.
4.19 During the regular session in the even-numbered year, before the Committee on Finance reports
4.20 a bill containing net appropriations in excess of the general fund appropriations in the current
4.21 fiscal biennium estimated by the most recent state budget forecast, the Committee must adopt
4.22 a budget resolution that accounts for the net appropriations. After the Committee adopts the
4.23 budget resolution, it is effective during the regular session that year, unless the Committee adopts
4.24 a different or amended resolution.
4.25 7.4 Within 14 days after the Senate or the Committee on Finance adopts a budget
4.26 resolution, the Committee must adopt, by resolution, limits for each major appropriation bill
4.27 identified in this Rule. After the Committee adopts the resolution, the limits in the resolution are
4.28 effective during the regular session in the year in which the resolution is adopted, unless the
4.29 Committee subsequently adopts different or amended limits for the same fiscal biennium. If the
4.30 Committee on Finance or the Senate combines two or more major appropriation bills into one bill,
4.31 the limits in the Committee resolution pertaining to those bills are also combined, and the sum of
4.32 the combined limits applies to the combined bill.
4.337.2At least 15 days before the deadline for divisions of the Committee on Finance to act
4.34favorably on omnibus appropriations bills, targets for the general fund budget must be publicly
4.36 7.5 7.3
tax and appropriation bills are:
(1) the omnibus tax bill;
(2) the E-12 education appropriations bill;
(3) the higher education appropriations bill;
(4) the health and human services appropriations bill;
(5) the environment, energy, and natural resources appropriations bill;
(6) the agriculture and veterans appropriations bill;
(7) the economic development and housing
(8) the public safety appropriations bill;
(9) the judiciary appropriations bill;
(10) the state government appropriations bill;
(11) the transportation appropriations bill; and
(12) the omnibus capital investment bill.
A major An omnibus
appropriation or tax bill may not be divided.
7.6 After the adoption of a resolution by the Senate or by the Committee on Finance, the
5.15 Committee on Finance and the Committee on Taxes must reconcile each bill recommended by the
5.16 committee with the resolution or resolutions. When reporting a bill, the committee must certify to
5.17 the Senate that the committee has reconciled the fiscal effect of the bill with the resolution or
5.18 resolutions and that the bill, as reported by the committee, together with other bills reported and
5.19 expected to be reported by the committee, does not and will not exceed the limits specified
5.20 in either resolution.
5.21 7.7 After the adoption of a resolution by the Senate or the Committee on Finance, an
5.22 amendment to a bill is out of order if it would cause any of the limits specified in either resolution
5.23 to be exceeded. Whether an amendment is out of order under this Rule is a question to be
5.24 decided in the Senate by the President and in committee by the committee chair. In making the
5.25 determination, the presiding officer may consider:
5.26 (1) the limits in a resolution;
5.27 (2) the effect of existing laws on revenues and appropriations;
5.28 (3) the effect of amendments previously adopted to the bill under consideration;
6.1 (4) the effect of bills previously recommended by a committee or bills previously passed
6.2 in the legislative session by the Senate or by the Legislature;
6.3 (5) whether appropriation increases or revenue decreases that would result from the
6.4 amendment are offset by decreases in other appropriations or increases in other revenue specified
6.5 by the amendment; and
6.6 (6) other information reasonably related to appropriation and revenue amounts.
6.77.4An amendment to an omnibus appropriation or tax bill that is a Senate file is out of
6.8order if it will increase net appropriations from a fund for a fiscal biennium, compared to the bill
6.9as it was reported to the floor of the Senate, without a corresponding increase in net revenue.
6.107.5An amendment to an omnibus appropriation or tax bill that is a Senate file is out of
6.11order if it will reduce net revenue to a fund for a fiscal biennium, compared to the bill as it was
6.12reported to the floor of the Senate, without a corresponding reduction in net appropriations.
6.137.6An amendment to an omnibus appropriation or tax bill that is a Senate file is out of
6.14order if it will change appropriations, transfers, or revenues to an agency that was not in the
6.15bill as it was reported to the floor of the Senate, or will create or increase the amount of a tax
6.16expenditure by reducing appropriations, transfers, or revenues to an agency that was not in the bill
6.17as it was reported to the floor of the Senate.
8.1Every gubernatorial appointment requiring the advice and consent of the Senate must
be referred by the President to the appropriate committee. If a question arises as to the proper
committee, the appointment must be referred without debate to the Committee on Rules and
Administration for a report making the proper reference.
8.2An appointment referred to committee and not reported to the Senate within 60
legislative days after it was referred is withdrawn from committee and placed on the confirmation
calendar for consideration by the Senate before adjournment of the regular session, unless the
6.26appointee's term has expired or the appointee is no longer serving
8.3The final question on the appointment is, "Will the Senate, having given its advice,
now consent to this appointment?" The question must not be put the same day the appointment is
received or on the day it is reported by committee except by unanimous consent. Confirmation of
the appointment requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole Senate.
The standing committees of the Senate are as follows:
Agriculture and Veterans
Business, Industry and Jobs
Commerce and Consumer Protection
Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications
Environment and Natural Resources
Health, Housing and Family Security
Rules and Administration
State and Local Government Operations and Oversight
10.APPOINTMENTS TO STANDING COMMITTEES
10.1The majority and minority groups must 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 must be given adequate notice of its positions before the session begins.
10.2Both the majority and minority groups shall appoint their own members to fill the
number of positions each group will hold on each committee and budget division. The minority
group shall transmit notice of its assignments to the majority group within 14 calendar days after
receipt of the notice of positions available. The minority group 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 group may make all the
committee and budget division assignments.
10.3The majority and minority committee assignments are subject to the uniform criteria
governing committee assignments applicable to both the majority and minority groups. The
uniform criteria must be promulgated by the majority group and transmitted to the minority group
together with notification of committee and budget division positions available to the minority.
10.4The Senate resolution establishing representation on all Senate standing committees
must set forth committee assignments as made by the majority and minority groups.
10.5A member may not serve as the chair of the same standing committee or the same
division of a standing committee, or a committee or division with substantially the same
jurisdiction, for more than three consecutive Senate term , provided that a chair whose third term
7.35ends in a year ending in one may serve a fourth consecutive term of no more than two years
limit does not apply to the Committee on Rules and Administration. This limit applies to time
served as a chair in the seventy-eighth legislature and thereafter.
10.6After the organization of the Senate and after consultation with and the approval of
the minority leader, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration may add members
to or delete members from a standing committee or division.
11.APPOINTMENTS BY SUBCOMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES
11.1The 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
Committee on Rules and Administration. The subcommittee consists of at least five members,
including members of the minority group substantially in proportion to their number in the Senate.
11.2Unless otherwise provided, the Subcommittee on Committees shall appoint all
members of commissions or other bodies authorized to be appointed by the Senate and report the
appointments to the Senate.
12.1All 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.
12.2Any 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 Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct without disclosing the identity of the complainant. The
complaint must not be further disclosed without the consent of the complainant, 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 Rule 55 apply.
12.3To the extent practical, a committee, subcommittee, or division shall announce each
meeting to the public at least three calendar days before convening. The notice must state the
name of the committee, subcommittee, or division, the bill or bills to be considered, and the place
and time of meeting. A bill may not be considered on the day it was introduced, except by a vote
8.33of two-thirds of the members of the committee, subcommittee, or division.
The notice must be
posted on the Senate's Web site and on all Senate bulletin boards in the Capitol and the State
Office Building. A notice must be sent to the House of Representatives for posting as it deems
necessary. If the three-day notice requirement cannot be met, the committee, subcommittee, or
division shall give simultaneous notice to all of the known proponents and opponents of the
bill as soon as practicable.
12.4A Senate committee, subcommittee, or division shall adjourn no later than 10:00 p.m.
each day, unless two-thirds of the members present vote to suspend this requirement.
12.5Committees, subcommittees, and divisions may not meet while the Senate is in
session without permission of the Senate. The names of the members excused shall be printed
in the Journal.
12.6A majority of its members constitutes a quorum of a committee, subcommittee,
12.7Each standing committee of the Senate, including a subcommittee or division of the
committee, may at any time sit and act, investigate and take testimony on any matter within its
jurisdiction, report hearings held by it, and make expenditures as authorized by the Committee on
Rules and Administration.
12.8A standing committee, but not a subcommittee or division, 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.
12.9Upon the request of a member of a committee, subcommittee, or division to which a
bill has been referred, or upon the request of the chief author of the bill, a record must be made of
the vote on the bill or any amendment in the committee, subcommittee, or division.
12.10Upon request of three members of the committee before the vote is taken, the record
of a roll call vote in a standing committee must accompany the committee report and be printed
in the Journal.
12.11A committee report may only be based on action taken at a regular or special meeting
of the committee. A report in violation of this rule is out of order.
13.HOUR OF CONVENING
If the Senate adjourns without setting a time to reconvene, the Senate shall convene on the
next legislative day at 10:00 a.m.
14.1The President shall take the chair at the time 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.
14.2The President may call a member to preside. In the absence of the President, the
President Pro Tem, 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, the Senate
may select a member to perform the duties of the President. Substitutions do not extend beyond
14.3The 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.
14.4An 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 Senate?"
14.5The President shall sign all acts, memorials, addresses and resolutions. All writs,
warrants, and subpoenas issued by the Senate must be signed by the President and attested by the
14.6Upon 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.
15.ADMISSION TO SENATE CHAMBER
15.1The Senate Chamber is reserved for Senate use.
15.2A person may not be admitted to the Senate Chamber except as provided in these
rules. 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 may be
15.3Past 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.
15.4An employee of either house may be admitted at the request of a member or an
officer of the Senate.
15.5The head of a department of state government may be admitted by the President.
15.6A member of another state, provincial, or national legislative body may be admitted
to the floor by any member of the Senate. A member of another legislative body who is admitted
to the floor may be introduced to the Senate by the President.
15.7When the Senate is not meeting, a person who is not a member may be admitted to the
floor at the request of a member or an officer.
15.8Public hearings may not be held in the Senate Chamber. The Senate Chamber may
not be used for any commercial purpose.
15.9The 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.
15.10When a member-elect is sworn in, the member-elect may request that one guest be
admitted until the member-elect has been sworn in.
16.PRIVILEGE OF REPORTERS
16.1The Secretary shall provide space 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 that regularly cover the legislature, namely: The Associated Press,
St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul Legal Ledger, Star Tribune, Duluth News-Tribune, The Forum,
Rochester Post-Bulletin, St. Cloud Times, WCCO radio, KSTP radio, Minnesota Public Radio,
and Minnesota News Network. The Secretary shall provide an additional two spaces 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 time. Other
news media personnel may occupy seats provided in the Senate gallery.
16.2The Secretary 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.
16.3The Secretary must issue each accredited reporter an identification badge showing the
reporter's name and news organization. The reporter must wear the badge when in the Senate
17.1In case of a disturbance or disorderly conduct in the lobbies or galleries, the President
may order them cleared.
17.2A member may not introduce a visitor or visitors in the galleries from the floor or
rostrum of the Senate.
17.3Smoking is not permitted in the Senate Chamber or galleries, the Retiring Room,
hearing rooms, offices, or other spaces under the control of the Senate.
17.4During floor proceedings, picture taking by persons other than accredited news or
legislative photographers, picture taking with floodlights or flash units, and visual or audible
disruptions are prohibited. At all times, demonstrations and food or beverages are prohibited
in the Senate Chamber and in the galleries.
17.5Television recording or broadcasting on the Senate floor is under the direction of the
18.ORDER OF BUSINESS
18.1The order of business is as follows:
1. Petitions, letters, remonstrances.
2. Executive and official communications.
3. Messages from the House of Representatives.
4. First reading of House bills.
5. Reports of committees.
(a) From standing committees.
(b) From select committees.
6. Second reading of Senate bills.
7. Second reading of House bills.
12.98. Introduction and first reading of Senate bills.
Motions and Resolutions.
12. Introduction and first reading of Senate bills.
13. Announcements of Senate interest.
18.2Under 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.
19.PETITIONS AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS
19.1In presenting a petition, memorial, remonstrance or other communication addressed
to the Senate, a member shall only state the general purpose of it.
19.2Every petition, memorial, remonstrance, resolution, bill and report of committee, must
have an appropriate title, and the name of the member presenting it written on it.
19.3Every written communication distributed to members in the Senate Chamber must
have the name of the member or officer distributing it displayed on it.
20.MESSAGES FROM THE HOUSE
A message from the House of Representatives that a Senate bill has been amended, and the
amendment, must be printed and placed on the members' desks before a member may move to
concur in the House amendment. If the amendment has been printed in the House Journal for a
preceding day and is available to the members, the Journal copy may serve as the printed copy.
21.OBJECTIONS TO COMMITTEE REFERRALS
A member may question the proper reference of a bill at the time the bill is reported by a
standing committee to which it was previously referred. When a member questions the reference
of a bill, the bill must be referred without debate to the Committee on Rules and Administration
to report the proper reference. Upon adoption of the report of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, the bill must be referred accordingly.
22.1The Secretary shall make a list of all bills, resolutions, reports of committees, and
other proceedings of the Senate that are referred to the Committee of the Whole and number
them. The lists are called the "General Orders".
22.2Items on General Orders may be taken up in the order in which they are numbered, as
ordered by the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or as otherwise ordered by a
majority of the committee.
22.3General Orders, together with all bills required to be included on it, must be
electronically available or printed at least one calendar day before being considered in Committee
of the Whole.
22.4With the concurrence of the chief author of the bill, a majority of the whole Senate
may at any time take a bill from the table and place it on General Orders.
23.COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
23.1All bills, memorials, orders, resolutions and votes requiring the approval of the
Governor must, after a second reading, be considered in Committee of the Whole before they are
finally acted upon by the Senate, unless considered on the Consent Calendar or as a Special Order.
23.2The President may call a member to the Chair when the Senate resolves itself into the
Committee of the Whole.
23.3The 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 may not be made.
23.4Three members may request a roll call vote. The vote must be recorded in the Journal
along with the amendment.
23.5The recommendations of the Committee of the Whole must be reported to the Senate.
The question is on the adoption or rejection of the report, and no other question may be admitted.
The question may be divided to permit separate Senate action on the report as to any bill.
23.6On adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole, all bills recommended to
pass must be placed on the Calendar.
24.1The Secretary shall make a Calendar of all bills, resolutions and other matters
approved by the Committee of the Whole for final action. The Secretary shall place them on the
Calendar in the order in which they have been acted upon in Committee of the Whole.
24.2The Calendar must be electronically available or printed at least one calendar day
before the matters on it are considered.
25.1If a committee determines that a bill it recommends to pass is not likely to be opposed,
the committee may recommend that the bill be placed on the Consent Calendar. If the committee
report is adopted, the bill must be electronically available or 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.
25.2A majority of the whole Senate, or the Chair of the Committee on Rules and
Administration, may order a bill on General Orders placed on the Consent Calendar.
25.3The Consent Calendar must be electronically available or printed at least one calendar
day before the matters on it are considered.
25.4If 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 is referred to the Committee of the Whole, and
the Secretary shall place it at the bottom of General Orders subject to Rule 22.2, except that it
need not lie over one calendar day before consideration in the Committee of the Whole.
26.1The Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or the Chair's designee,
may designate a special order for a bill that has been given its second reading.
26.2A special order may provide that the bill be considered immediately, at a time certain,
or after specific other business is completed.
26.3During consideration of a special order, Rule 36.5 is suspended.
26.4As nearly as applicable, debate on the bill and all proceedings including amendments
and substitutions must be conducted as in the Committee of the Whole.
26.5On any question, a member may request a roll call vote, which must be entered
in the Journal.
26.6Unless it is otherwise disposed of, after consideration a bill on Special Orders must
immediately proceed to its third reading and final passage.
26.7A 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.
27.1A motion or amendment must be written if a member requests. It must identify the
member or committee offering it.
27.2When a motion is made, it must be stated by the President. If it is in writing, it must
be handed to the Secretary and read to the members.
27.3After 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.
28.PRECEDENCE OF MOTIONS
28.1When a question is under debate no motion may be made, except:
1. To adjourn.
2. To recess.
3. To reconsider.
4. To lay on the table.
5. For the previous question.
6. To refer.
7. To postpone to a day certain.
8. To amend.
9. To postpone indefinitely.
28.2Motions numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5 above are not debatable.
28.3These motions have precedence in the foregoing order; but when a motion for the
previous question has been made, or the main question ordered, a motion to lay on the table
is not in order.
28.4A motion to postpone to a day certain, to refer, to postpone indefinitely, or to amend,
having been decided, may not again be put on the same day, nor at the same stage of the bill
29.MOTION TO ADJOURN
A motion to adjourn or a motion to adjourn to a time certain is always in order. The latter
motion is debatable solely as to the time. When either motion is rejected, it may not be renewed
until further business has been transacted.
30.MOTION TO RECONSIDER
30.1When a motion or question has been decided, a member who voted with the prevailing
side may 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 before the disposition of the motion for reconsideration, a motion
for reconsideration must lie over until the next succeeding day the Senate meets except as
provided in this rule.
30.2When notice of intent 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.
30.3A notice of intent to move for reconsideration is not in order after the Tuesday before
the third Saturday in May, but a motion to reconsider may be made.
30.4A motion for reconsideration having been once voted on may not be made again
31.MOTION FOR THE PREVIOUS QUESTION
31.1Unless a motion for the previous question is made specifically applicable to a
subsidiary motion, it must be in this form: "Shall the main question now be put?" If the motion
for the previous question is supported by a majority of the members present, its effect is to put an
end to all debate and bring the Senate to a direct vote upon all pending amendments in their order
and then upon the main question.
31.2On a motion for the previous question, a call of the Senate is in order before the
President submits the question to the Senate.
31.3On a motion for the 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, must
be decided, whether on appeal or otherwise, without debate.
32.MOTION TO REFER
A bill or resolution may be referred to committee at any time before its passage. If an
amendment is reported on the referral to any committee other than the Committee of the Whole, it
must 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 must be placed at the
head of General Orders, except when the referral is from the Consent Calendar under Rule 25.4.
33.MOTION TO AMEND BILL OR RESOLUTION
33.1A motion to amend must be written if a member requests. It must identify the
member offering it.
33.2In drawing an amendment to a bill or resolution, reference must be made, first to
the number of the bill, then to the page, and then to the line or lines where language is to be
stricken or inserted.
33.3In filling blanks, the largest sum, the longest time and the greatest distance must be
33.4The title to a bill may be amended by the Secretary at any time the bill is amended
by the Senate.
33.5An amendment is not in order to a bill on the Calendar or after third reading without
the unanimous consent of the Senate unless it fills a blank, amends the title, 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.
34.MOTION TO SUSPEND RULES
34.1A rule may be suspended by a vote of at least two-thirds of the whole Senate.
34.2A motion to suspend the rules for the purpose of advancing a bill may be made only
under the order of business, "Motions and Resolutions".
35.1An amendment proposed to the Senate or to the Committee of the Whole that is
not germane is out of order.
35.2A 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.
35.3An amendment to insert a constitutional amendment is not germane to a bill that does
not already include a constitutional amendment.
35.4Whether an amendment is germane is to be decided by the President, who may put the
question to the body if the President chooses.
35.5A motion to remove an amendment placed on a House bill under Rule 45.1 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 was substituted.
35.6If a House amendment to a Senate bill is not germane to the Senate bill, a motion to
concur in the House amendment is out of order.
36.1When a member is about to speak to the Senate, the member shall rise and respectfully
address "Mr. (or Madam) President." The member may not proceed to speak further until
recognized by the President.
36.2The member shall speak only to the question under debate and avoid personality.
36.3The member may inform the Senate of the Governor's position on a bill and on its
status in the House of Representatives.
36.4In discussing a resolution, each member is limited to ten minutes.
36.5A member may not speak more than twice on the same question on the same day
without permission of the Senate.
36.6When a member is speaking, no one may stand between the member speaking and the
36.7A member may not speak without using a microphone.
36.8All remarks during debate shall be addressed to the President.
36.9When the President puts a question, or addresses the Senate, no one may walk out of
or cross the Chamber.
36.10When 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 must be taken down in writing by the Secretary immediately.
37.ABSENCE OF MEMBERS
A member or officer of the Senate may not be absent from a session of the Senate unless
excused by the Senate. The name of a member excused must be printed in the Journal.
38.CALL OF THE SENATE
38.1A member may impose a call of the Senate requiring the attendance of all members
before any further proceedings occur except a motion to adjourn.
38.2Upon the imposition of a call, a member may request a record of those present and the
Sergeant at Arms shall bring in the absent members.
38.3When the Senate has been placed under call, a member may demand that the doors be
closed and that no member be 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 of
the whole Senate, or until the Senate adjourns.
38.4A majority of the whole Senate may excuse members not answering the call.
38.5A call may not be imposed after voting has commenced.
39.DIVISION OF QUESTION
39.1A member may call for a division of the question when the division is possible.
A motion to strike and insert is indivisible.
39.2The defeat of a motion to strike does not preclude an amendment nor a motion to
strike and insert.
40.1The President shall distinctly state the question before taking the vote. The President
shall declare the result of the vote. If a member questions the result of a vote, the President
shall order a division.
40.2A member may vote on a question or be counted on a division only at the member's
own seat in the Senate Chamber.
40.3At any time before the start of voting on a question, a member may request a roll call
vote, which must be entered in the Journal.
40.4Unless otherwise ordered, a roll call vote, except upon elections, may be taken by
means of the electrical voting system under the control of the President.
40.5A roll call vote may not be interrupted except to close the roll as provided in Rule 41.3.
40.6A member or other person may not proceed to or remain by the Secretary's desk while
a roll call or division is being taken.
41.MEMBERS TO VOTE UNLESS EXCUSED
41.1Every member who is in the Senate Chamber during a roll call, including in the
19.15Committee of the Whole,
shall vote upon the request of another member unless excused by
41.2A motion by a member to be excused from voting must 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. The question on the motion to excuse must be taken without further debate.
41.3When members have had an opportunity to vote and fail to do so, a majority of the
whole Senate may, by motion, direct the President to close the roll.
41.4The vote on a motion to close the roll must be taken without debate. No member
is required to vote on the motion.
The final question on 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 on its final passage.
43.TRANSMITTING BILLS TO THE HOUSE
43.1Except when a motion to reconsider has been made as provided in Rule 30,
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.
43.2On 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.
44.ENGROSSING AND ENROLLING OF BILLS
44.1The Secretary and the Engrossing Secretary shall ensure that every bill, memorial, or
resolution originating in the Senate is carefully engrossed before it is transmitted to the House
of Representatives for concurrence.
All engrossing and enrolling of bills shall be done at the direction and under authority of
44.2The Secretary shall ensure that every bill, memorial, or resolution originating in the
Senate is carefully enrolled by the Revisor of Statutes before it is presented to the Governor
or filed with the Secretary of State.
45.COMPARISON AND SUBSTITUTION OF BILLS
45.1A House bill, after its first reading, must be referred as follows, unless there is a
motion by the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration or a designee of the Chair:
(a) If there is no Senate companion bill, the House bill must be referred to the appropriate
standing committee, unless there is objection under Rule 4.10.
(b) If there is a Senate companion bill, the House bill must be referred to the standing
committee possessing the Senate companion.
(c) If the Senate companion bill has been reported to the Senate, the House bill must 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 must 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 must 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 must be given
its second reading and substituted for the Senate companion bill and the Senate companion
bill must be indefinitely postponed.
45.2The Secretary shall prepare and submit reports under this rule on behalf of the
Committee on Rules and Administration.
45.3A House bill placed on the Calendar by substitution must not be given its third reading
on the same day as the substitution.
46.1The Committee on Rules and Administration may constitute a standing Subcommittee
on Conference Committees, the report of which within its jurisdiction has the effect of a report of
the Committee on Rules and Administration. The subcommittee consists of three members, one
of whom must be a member of the minority group.
46.2The Subcommittee on Conference Committees shall appoint all conference
committees of the Senate and report the appointments to the Senate. In the appointment of
members of conference committees between the two houses, the Subcommittee on Conference
Committees shall appoint those who are in accord with the position of the Senate. Whenever
practical, the subcommittee shall give preference to authors of bills in dispute and to members of
standing committees in which the bills were considered.
47.DISPOSITION OF BILLS ON ADJOURNMENT
Adjournment of the regular session in an odd-numbered year to a date certain in the
following year is equivalent to daily adjournment, except that a bill on the Calendar, Consent
Calendar, General Orders, or table, other than a bill laid on the table after being vetoed by the
governor or after its conference committee has been discharged under Joint Rule 3.02, must
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 before
adjournment. Bills returned to committee under this rule must, upon request of the chief author,
be given priority for consideration by the committee in the even-numbered year ahead of all other
bills in the order in which they appeared on the Calendar, Consent Calendar, or General Orders.
48.PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION OF BILLS
48.1Unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, all Senate bills that have been reported upon
favorably or without recommendation by a committee must be electronically available or printed
before consideration by the Senate or the Committee of the Whole.
48.2A House bill amended by the Senate must be unofficially engrossed and electronically
available or printed when placed on General Orders.
48.3A bill may be electronically available or printed by order of the Secretary when
amended after second reading.
48.4A bill must be electronically available or printed when ordered by the Senate.
48.5Action by the Senate on a bill that has not been printed is a waiver of the printing
48.6To the extent practical, the Secretary shall provide a copy of any bill to the public
and may charge a reasonable fee.
49.JOURNAL AND INDEX
49.1The Secretary shall keep a correct Journal of the proceedings of the Senate and shall
perform other duties assigned to the Secretary.
49.2The Secretary shall not permit Journal records, accounts or papers to be taken out of
the Secretary's custody, other than in the regular mode of business. If a document in the Secretary's
charge is missing, the Secretary shall report the fact to the President, so that inquiry may be made.
49.3The Secretary shall supervise the recording of proceedings in the Journal, the
engrossing, transcribing and copying of bills and resolutions, and generally perform the duties of
Secretary, under direction of the Committee on Rules and Administration.
49.4The 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
49.5The Secretary shall keep a record of all Senate and House bills showing the status
of each bill pending, until its final passage.
50.1The Secretary shall cause to be recorded on electronic media the proceedings of the
Senate, the Committee of the Whole, and each standing committee, subcommittee, and division.
Each electronic record must be clearly labeled to show the name of the body whose proceedings
are recorded and the dates the proceedings occurred. Each electronic record of the proceedings of
the Senate and the Committee of the Whole must be accompanied by a log showing the number of
each bill considered and the places on the record where consideration of the bill occurred.
50.2Within two working days after each Senate session, the Secretary shall make a copy
of the electronic record and corresponding log of proceedings of the Senate and the Committee
of the Whole available to the Legislative Reference Library.
50.3Within one week after each meeting of a standing committee, subcommittee, or
division, the Secretary shall make the electronic record of the meeting available to the Legislative
Reference Library, together with an agenda showing bills considered and any action taken on
50.4Upon completion and approval of the minutes of the meeting, the Secretary shall
promptly deliver a copy of the minutes to the Legislative Reference Library.
50.5The Secretary shall keep a record of each session of the Senate and the Committee
of the Whole, each meeting of a Senate standing committee, subcommittee, or division and
the date on which the electronic record of the session or meeting was made available to the
Legislative Reference Library. The Library shall keep a similar record of all electronic records
to which it has been given access.
50.6The Library shall provide committee staff with reasonable access to Senate electronic
records and shall provide the public with convenient facilities to listen to them.
50.7The Secretary shall make copies of Senate electronic records available to the public
for a fee determined by the Secretary to be adequate to cover the cost of preparing the copies. A
copy must be provided free to a member of the Senate upon request for use in legislative business.
50.8The Secretary shall keep the original electronic record and log of each session of the
Senate and the Committee of the Whole until the end of the period for which the members of the
existing House of Representatives have been elected, at which time the electronic record may be
preserved or disposed of as the Secretary sees fit. The Legislative Reference Library shall keep
electronic records, logs, and minutes forwarded to it 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.
50.9The Senate intends that testimony and discussion preserved under this rule not be
admissible in any court or administrative proceeding on an issue of legislative intent.
51.OTHER DUTIES OF SECRETARY
51.1The Secretary shall not issue a certificate authorizing the payment of money by virtue
of a motion or resolution, unless the motion or resolution is voted for by a majority of the whole
Senate on a roll call vote.
51.2The Secretary and the Engrossing Secretary 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.
51.3The Secretary is the agent of the Senate for the purchase of supplies and services. The
Secretary's records on purchase of supplies and services are open for inspection.
51.4The 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.
51.5By the 15th day of April, July, October, and January of each year, the Secretary shall
submit a detailed report of Senate expenditures during the previous quarter to the Committee on
Rules and Administration.
51.6The Secretary's public records may be inspected during normal business hours.
52.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 is properly regulated, and
that the Chamber is open for the use of members of the Senate at least one-half hour before the
start of a session; and perform all other services pertaining to the office of Sergeant.
53.BUDGET AND EXPENDITURES
53.1The Committee on Rules and Administration shall adopt an operating budget for
the Senate and post it on the Senate Web site
53.2All propositions for the appointment and payment of employees of the Senate or for
expenditures of the Legislature, other than those provided by law, must be referred without debate
to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
54.1The Committee on Rules and Administration shall establish positions, set
compensation, appoint employees, and authorize expense reimbursement for employees as it
deems necessary to carry out the work of the Senate. At the request of any committee member, an
action of the committee must be submitted as a Senate resolution for adoption by the Senate.
54.2The Secretary shall keep a roster of all employees of the Senate, including positions
and compensation, which must be open for inspection by the public.
54.3The 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 has elapsed.
54.4Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Committee on Rules and
Administration has full and exclusive authority over, and charge of all employees of the Senate
both elected and appointed. 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
54.5The committee may make employment rules and regulations. In case of violation of
an order of the committee by an employee, 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, the Committee on Rules
and Administration may hear complaints and discharge the employee or impose discipline, a
fine, or other punishment upon the employee.
54.6The Secretary shall supervise the employees under the direction of the Committee on
Rules and Administration.
54.7Until the election by the Senate of a single Secretary of the Senate, the Committee
on Rules and Administration shall allocate the duties of the Secretary of the Senate between
two individuals: the Secretary of the Senate (Legislative) and the Secretary of the Senate
55.SUBCOMMITTEE ON ETHICAL CONDUCT
55.1The Subcommittee on Committees shall appoint a Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct
of the Committee on Rules and Administration consisting of four members, two from the majority
group and two from the minority group.
55.2The subcommittee shall serve in an advisory capacity to a member or employee upon
written request and shall issue recommendations to the member or employee. A member may
request the subcommittee to provide its advice on a potential conflict of interest to the member in
private. If so requested, the subcommittee shall conduct its proceedings on the advisory opinion
in private. The request, proceedings on the request, and any advice given by the subcommittee
in response to the request must remain private. The member may not use an advisory opinion
from the subcommittee as a defense to a complaint under this rule unless the opinion has been
adopted by the subcommittee at a public meeting.
55.3The subcommittee shall investigate a complaint by a member of the Senate in writing
under oath received before adjournment sine die in the last year of a senate term or during a
special session held after that time regarding improper conduct by a member or employee of the
Senate. The subcommittee has the powers of a standing committee to issue subpoenas under
Minnesota Statutes, section 3.153.
55.4Within 30 days after receiving a complaint, the subcommittee must meet and either
make a finding of no probable cause, vote to defer action until a certain time, or proceed with
55.5In order to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that improper conduct
has occurred, the subcommittee may, by a vote of three of its members, conduct a preliminary
inquiry in executive session to which the open meeting requirements of Rules 12.1 to 12.3 do
not apply. The executive session may be ordered by a vote of three of its members whenever
the subcommittee determines that matters relating to probable cause are likely to be discussed.
The executive session must be limited to matters relating to probable cause. Upon a finding of
probable cause, further proceedings on the complaint are open to the public.
55.6The subcommittee may appoint special counsel to provide expert advice on how
to conduct its proceedings. The subcommittee may appoint a suitable person to conduct the
investigation and report findings of fact and recommendations for action to the subcommittee.
55.7If, after investigation, the subcommittee finds the complaint substantiated by the
evidence, it shall recommend to the Committee on Rules and Administration appropriate
55.8To minimize disruption of its public proceedings, the subcommittee may require that
television coverage be pooled or be provided by Senate media services.
55.9If criminal proceedings relating to the same conduct have begun, the subcommittee
may defer its proceedings until the criminal proceedings have been completed.
55.10The Senate intends that proceedings of the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct not be
admissible in any criminal proceeding.
56.STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT
56.1Members shall adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct as embodied in the
Minnesota Constitution, state law, and these rules.
56.2A 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.
56.3Improper conduct includes conduct that violates a rule or administrative policy of the
Senate, that violates accepted norms of Senate behavior, that betrays the public trust, or that tends
to bring the Senate into dishonor or disrepute.
57.CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
A member who in the discharge of senatorial duties would be required to take an action or
make a decision that would substantially affect the member's financial interests or those of an
associated business, unless the effect on the member is no greater than on others in the member's
business classification, profession, or occupation, shall disclose the potential conflict of interest
by following the procedure set forth in Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.07.
58.1A lobbyist shall not appear before a Senate committee pursuant to the lobbyist's
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 on whose behalf the lobbyist speaks and the purpose of the
58.2A lobbyist shall not knowingly, either directly or through a third party, 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, subcommittees, or
58.3The Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct shall investigate a complaint by a member of
the Senate in writing under oath received before adjournment sine die in the last year of a Senate
term or during a special session held after that time that a lobbyist has violated Rule 58.1 or 58.2.
The investigatory procedures of Rule 55 apply, except as provided in this rule. The complaint
and proceedings on the complaint are private until the subcommittee has found probable cause to
believe that a violation of Rule 58.1 or 58.2 has occurred, unless they are made public by the
lobbyist whose conduct is the subject of the complaint or by the vote of at least three members
of the subcommittee.
59.AMENDMENTS TO RULES
Every proposition to amend a rule of the Senate must be referred to the Committee on Rules
and Administration. The proposition may not be acted upon until the report of the committee
is received by the Senate.