Washington State Legislative History Cheryl Nyberg Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library University of Washington Handout In your handout packet On the Gallagher Law Library website, http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/washleghis .html What Is Legislative History? Chronological proceeding of a bill through legislative consideration Documents created through the legislative process Understanding the intent of the legislature in enacting the law Important Considerations Timeframe: mid-1970s to date Internet access: 1997 to date Limited number of useful documents Research may not yield useful documents Archival material available in Olympia Know when to say when Documents & Material The bill Debates recorded on Original audiotapes Amendments Bill files at the State Final Archives or the Bill reports committees Chronology Video archives on House and Senate TVW journals Newspapers Statute to Bill Historical note indicating date of original enactment and subsequent amendment Refers to the year, chapter number, and section of the chapter Text of session law found in the Laws of Washington, chronological arrangement of laws enacted in Washington RCW to Session Law RCW to Session Law RCW 35.21.217 Utility services -- Deposit -- Tenants' delinquencies - - Lien. (1) Prior to furnishing utility services, a city or town may require a deposit to guarantee payment for services. However, failure to require a deposit does not affect the validity of any lien authorized by RCW 35.21.290 or 35.67.200. A city or town may determine how to apply partial payments on past due accounts. [1998 c 285 § 1.] Session Law to Bill Number Legislature’s homepage, http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/default.htm Bill information, http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/bills.cfm Bill information for 1997-1998, http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/billinfo/bills97_98 .html Chapter to bill table, http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/1997- 98/chapter_to_bill_table.txt Tips Look at names of column headings to understand how the information is presented Use browser’s Edit, Find on Page feature to quickly locate chapter number Refer to bound volumes of the Laws of Washington for dates before 1997 Bill Information Bill Info 1997-98 Chapter to Bill Table ESHB? For list of acronyms and explanations, see Key to Daily Status Report Next, House Bill Information Detailed Bill Info Bill Documents Bill to Legislative History House bill information Simple arrangement by groups of bill numbers Several entries with mysterious names and abbreviations history.txt = procedural history (Legislative Digest and History of Bills) fbr, hbr, sbr = bill reports (Final Legislative Report) date.txt = versions of bill History House Bill Report Journals Not available under Bill information Use Legislature’s multi-database Search feature, http://search.leg.wa.gov/basic/textsearch/def ault.asp Journal Search Journal: “Debate Ensued” Journal: Point of Inquiry Documents & Material The bill Debates recorded on Original audiotapes Amendments Bill files at the State Final Archives or the Bill reports committees Chronology Video archives on House and Senate TVW journals Newspapers State Archives TVW Other Sources Newspaper articles: interviews with and editorials by legislators Law review articles (more likely for federal legislation than Washington State legislation) Cases Conclusion What is legislative history? What do you hope to find? Often a long and winding road that leads to nowhere. When should you stop? Questions?
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