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|Legislative History Tutorial|
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The bill I am researching is from 1995. Where do I go from here?
(You will need to go to a library to complete part of your research. Here is a list of libraries with the necessary materials.)
· First, use the online search to find the bill history page. To search, choose the type of legislation you are looking for (Assembly Bill, Senate Concurrent Resolution, etc.) and then type the bill number in the box provided. The bill history page tracks the bill chronologically through the legislative process, including which committees held hearings and the dates of those hearings. It also has links to the Assembly and Senate floor votes. Print this page.
Another way to do this is to look up the bill in the Assembly History or Senate History volume for the appropriate year. The History will also show the chronology for the bill, including which committees held hearings, but will not include the hearing dates. Copy the chronology. This will act as a guide when compiling your history, and as a table of contents to the finished product.
· Second, check to see if there is a bill summary available for your bill. The Summary of Legislation includes only enacted bills. You can do this online using the search or by checking the index in the back of the printed publication. (If you are using the search to look for a specific bill, use the following format: Senate Bill 1.)
· Third, find the committee minutes. You can do this online. Using the bill hsitory paget, choose the appropriate committees and dates. Exhibits referred to in 1995 committee minutes are not available electronically. Request exhibits from the Research Library, 775-684-6827 or by email, or view the exhibits on microfiche. When requesting exhibits from the Research Library, please cite house, committee, hearing date, bill number, and exhibit letter. Photocopy charges apply.
If you are at one of the libraries linked to above, the minutes will be on microfiche and arranged by session year, house, committee and then date. The first page of fiche for each committee includes an index of all measures heard by the committee. Look up your bill and note the dates. Select the fiche labeled with the corresponding dates and scan through the minutes for discussion on your bill.
Watch for mention of exhibits (Exhibit M, for example), copies of which will be at the end of that meeting’s microfiche minutes. Also keep in mind that the committee will sometimes close the hearing on a bill (stop talking about it), open the hearing on another bill (start talking about something else), and then reopen the hearing on the original bill later in the meeting. To be thorough, scan through all of the discussion.
· Fourth, look up your bill in the Assembly Journal and Senate Journal. Each Journal has an index of bills, referring you to the pages where your bill is mentioned or acted upon. In the Journal you will find any amendments made to the bill, votes on the Assembly or Senate floor, and legislator comments if the legislator asked to have his/her comments entered into the Journal. If the legislator did not ask to have the comments entered, the Journal will simply read, “Remarks made by Senator X.”
· The final step is to copy all the versions the bill went through during the process: the introduced version of the bill, any reprints (redrafts) if the bill was amended, and the enrolled (final) version of the bill. You can do this online. The enrolled version is found in the Statutes of Nevada. Introduced bills and reprints will not be available at all the libraries linked to above, or may only be available for a certain date range. Please check with the staff of the Library to see what they have on hand.
What else might I need to know, or where else might I look?
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Last updated 2/20/2013
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