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Legislative History Research

Pennsylvania Legislative History: A Quick Guide

The steps for completing a legislative history in Pennsylvania prior to 1975 legislation is generally:

  1. Identify the Act Number.
    • A citation with an Act number is typically found immediately after each section in Purdon's.
  2. Identify the Bill Number.
    • For laws passed in 1965, going forward, the bill number is printed on the first page of each Act in the Laws of Pennsylvania. Before 1965, a bill number can be found in the bill index pages of the House and Senate Histories.
  3. Use Bill Number to locate bill history.
    • Consult the House or Senate histories for the year of your legislation to find a sequential listing of the history for your act and look for a page reference to the House or Senate Journal.
  4. Locate Remarks in House or Senate Journal.
    • Consult the House or Senate Journal for the year of your legislation and find the page referenced.
    • Bill histories from 1975 forward are available online at the Pennsylvania General Assembly website by locating an enacted bill and clicking on the "history" link.

Useful Books

Databases/Web Resources