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Minnesota Constitution Articles IQ and IV

 

Article III Distribution of the Powers of Government

Section 1. Division of powers.The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments: legislative, executive and judicial. No person or persons belonging to or constituting one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others except in the instances expressly provided in this constitution.

Article IV Legislative Department Section 1. Composition of legislature.The legislature consists of the senate and house of representatives.

Sec. 2. Apportionment of members.The number of members who compose the senate and house of representatives shall be prescribed by law. The representation in both houses shall be apportioned equally throughout the different sections of the state in proportion to the population thereof.

Sec. 3. Census enumeration apportionment; congressional and legislative district boundaries; senate districts.At its first session after each enumeration of the inhabitants of this state made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall have the power to prescribe the bounds of congressional and legislative districts. Senators shall be chosen by single districts of convenient contiguous territory. No representative district shall be divided in the formation of a senate district. The senate districts shall be numbered in a regular series.

Sec. 4. Tenns of office of senators and representatives; vacancies. Representatives shall be chosen for a term of two years, except to fill a vacancy. Senators shall be chosen for a term of four years, except to fill a vacancy and except there shall be an entire new election of all the senators at the first election of representatives after each new legislative apportionment provided for in this article. The governor shall call elections to fill vacancies in either house of the legislature.

Sec. 5. Restriction on holding office.No senator or representative shall hold any other office under the authority of the United States or the state of Minnesota, except that of postmaster or of notary public. If elected or appointed to another office, a legislator may resign from the legislature by tendering his resignation to the governor.

Sec. 6. Qualification of legislators; judging election returns and eligibility. Senators and representatives shall be qualified voters of the state, and shall have resided one year in the state and six months immediately preceding the election in the district from which elected. Each house shall be the judge of the election returns and eligibility of its own members. The legislature shall prescribe by law the manner for taking evidence in cases of contested seats in either house.

Sec. 7. Rules of government.Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, sit upon its own adjournment, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same offense.

Sec. 8. Oath of office.Each member and officer of the legislature before entering upon his duties shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, the constitution of this state, and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and ability.

Sec. 9. Compensation.The salary of senators and representatives shall be prescribed by a council consisting of the following members: one person who is not a judge from each congressional district appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and one member from each congressional district appointed by the governor. If Minnesota has an odd number of congressional districts, the governor and the chief justice must each appoint an at-large member in addition to a member from each congressional district. One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the most members in the legislature. One-half of the members appointed by the governor and one-half of the members appointed by the chief justice must belong to the political party that has the second-most members in the legislature. None of the members of the council may be current or former legislators, or the spouse of a current legislator.

None of the members of the council may be current or former lobbyists registered under Minnesota law. None of the members of the council may be a current employee of the legislature. None of the members of the council may be a current or former judge.

None of the members of the council may be a current or former governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, or state auditor. None of the members of the council may be a current employee of an entity in the executive or judicial branch. Membership tenns, removal, and compensation of members shall be as provided by law. The council must prescribe salaries by March 31 of each odd-numbered year, taking into account any other legislative compensation provided to legislators by the state of Minnesota, with any changes in salary to take effect on July 1 of that year. Any salary increase for legislators authorized in law by the legislature after January 5, 2015, is repealed.

[Amended, November 8, 2016] Sec. 10. Privilege from arrest.The members of each house in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of their respective houses and in going to or returning from the same. For any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 11. Protest and dissent of members.Two or more members of either house may dissent and protest against any act or resolution which they think injurious to the public or to any individual and have the reason of their dissent entered in the journal.

Sec. 12. Biennial meetings; length of session; special sessions; length of adjournments.The legislature shall meet at the seat of government in regular session in each biennium at the times prescribed by law for not exceeding a total of 120 legislative days.

The legislature shall not meet in regular session, nor in any adjournment thereof, after the first Monday following the third Saturday in May of any year. After meeting at a time prescribed by law, the legislature may adjourn to another time. “Legislative day” shall be defined by law. A special session of the legislature may be called by the governor on extraordinary occasions.

Neither house during a session of the legislature shall adjourn for more than three days (Sundays excepted) nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be assembled without the consent of the other house.

Sec. 13. Quorum.A majority of each house constitutes a quorum to transact business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and under the penalties it may provide.

Sec. 14. Open sessions.Each house shall be open to the public during its sessions except in cases which in its opinion require secrecy.

Sec. 15. Officers; journals.Each house shall elect its presiding officer and other officers as may be provided by law. Both houses shall keep journals of their proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, and the yeas and nays, when taken on any question, shall be entered in the journals.

Sec. 16. Elections viva voce.In all elections by the legislature members shall vote viva voce and their votes shall be entered in the journal.

Sec. 17. Laws to embrace only one subject.No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.

Sec. 18. Revenue bills to originate in house.All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose and concur with the amendments as on other bills.

Sec. 19. Reporting of bills.Every bill shall be reported on three different days in each house, unless, in case of urgency, two-thirds of the house where the bill is pending deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Sec. 20. Enrollment of bills.Every bill passed by both houses shall be enrolled and signed by the presiding officer of each house. Any presiding officer refusing to sign a bill passed by both houses shall thereafter be disqualified from any office of honor or profit in the state. Each house by rule shall provide the manner in which a bill shall be certified for presentation to the governor in case of such refusal.

Sec. 21. Passage of bills on last day of session prohibited.No bill shall be passed by either house upon the day prescribed for adjournment. This section shall not preclude the enrollment of a bill or its transmittal from one house to the other or to the executive for his signature.

Sec. 22. Majority vote of all members to pass a law.The style of all laws of this state shall be: “Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Minnesota.” No law shall be passed unless voted for by a majority of all the members elected to each house of the legislature, and the vote entered in the journal of each house.

Sec. 23. Approval of bills by governor; action on veto.Every bill passed in conformity to the rules of each house and the joint rules of the two houses shall be presented to the governor. If he approves a bill, he shall sign it, deposit it in the office of the secretary of state and notify the house in which it originated of that fact. If he vetoes a bill, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated. His objections shall be entered in the journal. If, after reconsideration, two-thirds of that house agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the governor’s objections, to the other house, which shall likewise reconsider it. If approved by two-thirds of that house it becomes a law and shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state.

In such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill shall be entered in the journal of each house. Any bill not returned by the governor within three days (Sundays excepted) after it is presented to him becomes a law as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by adjournment within that time prevents its return. Any bill passed during the last three days of a session may be presented to the governor during the three days following the day of final adjournment and becomes law if the governor signs and deposits it in the office of the secretary of state within 14 days after the adjournment of the legislature. Any bill passed during the last three days of the session which is not signed and deposited within 14 days after adjournment does not become a law.

If a bill presented to the governor contains several items of appropriation of money, he may veto one or more of the items while approving the bill. At the time he signs the bill the governor shall append to it a statement of the items he vetoes and the vetoed items shall not take effect. If the legislature is in session, he shall transmit to the house in which the bill originated a copy of the statement, and the items vetoed shall be separately reconsidered.

If on reconsideration any item is approved by two-thirds of the members elected to each house, it is a part of the law notwithstanding the objections of the governor.

Sec. 24. Presentation of orders, resolutions, and votes to governor. Each order, resolution or vote requiring the concurrence of the two houses except such as relate to the business or adjournment of the legislature shall be presented to the governor and is subject to his veto as prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 25. Disorderly conduct.During a session each house may punish by imprisonment for not more than 24 hours any person not a member who is guilty of any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence.. 26. Banking laws; two-thirds votes.Passage of a general banking law requires the vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature.

September 14, 2022