A Piece of North Dakota`s Legislative History | VideoJessica Roose | 11/29/2012
After each legislative session, all the laws that were passed are bound into several books and displayed in the Secretary of State`s office.
"It shows the vote count, shows when the bill was received by the Governor, when the Governor signed it and when it was filed in our office. So we retain these bills, these original copies until the next summer, after the conclusion of the upcoming session," said North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
Then session logs are created and those books are kept on another shelf in his office. In fact, he has a collection dating back to when North Dakota was part of the Dakota territory. He says he doesn`t have to open them often, but he has had to reference them from time to time. Most recently regarding a measure that requires members of the executive branch to take an oath of office.
"It was at that time that I took this particular book from 1890 and I was able to determine that the legislature at that time had passed a law that required that all elected officials take an oath of office," Jaeger said.
He says he enjoys being surrounded by the history and thinks it`s an important tradition for the state.
The collection did get lost in the fire when the capitol burned down in 1930. But a previous Secretary of State was able to gather other copies that make up the collection today.