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Legal Topics: Enacting Clause

An enacting clause is the constitutionally required portion of a bill which formally expresses the intent that it become law. See Article IV, Section 22 of the Minnesota Constitution: "Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Minnesota." This language appears on every bill that goes through the legislature and is signed by the governor to become law.

New laws (also called session laws) are first published in Laws of Minnesota. The enacting clause appears at the beginning of each law. Minnesota Statutes is a compilation of the general and permanent laws of the state arranged by subject. The enacting clause is not reprinted here. For more information on the difference between the Laws and Statutes, see Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature: Laws, Statutes and Rules from the Minnesota Legislature. The original bills signed into law by the governor and bearing his signature are filed with the Secretary of State.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals explained this process in Ledden v. State, 686 N.W.2d 873 (Minn. Ct. App. 2004):

Federal legislation works the same way. The Statutes at Large (authorized in 1 U.S.C. §112) are the session laws and the United States Code (authorized in 1 U.S.C. §204) is the equivalent of Minnesota Statutes. For more information see How Our Laws Are Made, from the Library of Congress.

DISCLAIMER:  As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts.)  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.  For links to resources on finding an attorney click here.

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Minnesota State Law Library: Legal Topics: Enacting Clause

Last updated on September 10, 2015.
Links checked on September 10, 2015.

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