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Delaware Legislative History: Legislative Documents

The Synopsis Note

Beginning in the mid-1970s, synopsis notes have been attached to all Delaware bills and amendments to bills. The synopsis note gives a brief statement of the purpose of the bill. (The General Assembly seems to have started adding synopsis notes to bills gradually, so there is not one definite year when they began using them.) The synopsis note will only be found on the bill, not in the Laws of Delaware or Delaware Code.

The Delaware Law School Library has Delaware bills back to 1975 in paper ( KFD6 .A2) and 1961 in microfilm. Remember that synopsis notes have only been used since the mid-1970s, so it's no use looking for one for a bill before then.

The Delaware Code

Delaware's codified laws are published in the Delaware Code Annotated. The Delaware Code includes a history section at the end of each code section, which traces every time that section was updated.

There are two paper versions of the Delaware code, one published by Lexis and one by West. The Delaware Law Library has the current Delaware Code Annotated at KFD30 1974 .A24. We also have older code volumes in our archives.

The Laws of Delaware

Passed acts are published in the Laws of Delaware. These are the session laws of the state of Delaware.

The Delaware Law Library has a complete copy of the Laws of Delaware in our archives KFD25 .D4.

Delaware House and Senate Journals

Delaware House and Senate Journals - House and Senate Journals are published for each session of the General Assembly. The Journals give information on who sponsored each bill; the voting record and the date the Governor signed the bill. Additionally, the Journals contain the minutes of the proceedings of the General Assembly prior to 1967. The Journals do not contain record of debates, but they do contain addresses by the Governor to the General Assembly and mentions of outside speakers who gave addresses about proposed legislation (though not the text of these remarks.)

Delaware Law School library has the House and Senate Journals in paper and microfilm. We are missing a few volumes in paper, particularly the special sessions.