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The legislature convened on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature

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Caucuses (Political Parties)

What is a caucus?

A caucus is a group of representatives or senators who affiliate with the same political party or faction, such as "DFL Caucus," the "Republican Caucus," the "Majority" caucus, or the "Minority" caucus. Also, any meeting of such a group is called a caucus. The House of Representatives has Web pages for both major party caucuses: the Republican Caucus and the Democratic/DFL Caucus. The Senate also has Web pages for the major party caucuses: the DFL Caucus and the Republican Caucus.

How are leaders in the House and Senate chosen?

In the House, members of each party caucus meet on an informal basis within a week or two after the general election to organize and elect leaders. Each caucus can nominate a speaker designate (the speaker is officially elected by members of the entire House on the opening day of the session). The majority caucus also elects a majority leader and assistant leaders. Likewise, the minority caucus elects a minority leader to enunciate the caucus opinion on the House floor, and other assistant minority leaders. For a list of current leaders in the House, see the House of Representatives Leadership Web page.

In the Senate, the leader of the majority caucus directs the business of the Senate and is considered the leader of the Senate. He or she is elected by the members of the caucus, which also elects the leader's chief assistant, called the assistant majority leader. The minority caucus also elects its own leaders, much like the House does. The President of the Senate, who presides over the activities of the Senate and assigns bills to committees, is elected on the opening day of each biennial session. For a list of current leaders in the Senate, see the Senate Leadership list.

Whichever party holds the most seats in either the House or the Senate is considered the Majority Caucus.

Are all the House and Senate employees partisan?

No. Only those employees working for a caucus in the House and Senate are considered partisan.

What are the political affiliations of the heads of the Minnesota State Agencies?

Heads of state agencies do not specifically have party affiliations related to their jobs since they are not elected. However, they are appointed by the governor, a partisan, elected official.

Minnesota State Legislature