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Comparing Federal & Illinois Legislative History Research

Prepared by Frank Houdek, SIU Law Library — Spring 2008

STEPS IN LEGISLATIVE PROCESS TYPICAL DOCUMENTS FEDERAL SOURCES ILLINOIS SOURCES
1. Idea

suggestions, hearings, messages

 

 

2. Legislation Drafted

bill

  • microfiche collection (1984–85 to current)
  • GPO Access (1993–94 to current)
  • Thomas (1989–90 to current)
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1989–90 to current)
  • LexisNexis (1989–90 to current)
  • Westlaw (1995–96 to current)
  • microfilm (1877–1986) or microfiche (1987–98) from state
  • Illinois General Assembly website* (90th GA (1997–98) to current)
  • Westlaw (1991–current)
  • LexisNexis current session only
3. To Committee

hearings

  • CIS (1970–83) or GPO (1983–current) microfiche collections
  • GPO Access (1995–96 to current, selected)
  • Thomas → available through links to committee Web sites
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1988–current)
  • House — audiotaped; must request
  • Senate conducts hearings but does not record them
4. Committee Recommendation:

MOST IMPORTANT FEDERAL SOURCE

committee report

  • CIS (1970–83) or GPO (1983–current) microfiche collections
  • USCCAN (1948–current, selected reports only, arranged by P.L. No.)
  • GPO Access (1995–96 to current)
  • Thomas (1995–96 to current)
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1990–current)
  • LexisNexis (1990–current)
  • Westlaw (1948–89, selected; 1990–current, complete)

very brief: "Do Pass", "Do Not Pass", "Do Pass As Amended;" included in Legislative Synopsis & Digest (1917–current)

  • Illinois General Assembly website* included in bill status reports on from 77th GA (1971–1972) to current
  • Westlaw included in bill status reports from 91st GA (1999–2000) to current (Illinois Legislative History Reports (IL-LH-REP))
5. Floor Debate:

MOST IMPORTANT ILLINOIS SOURCE

transcript

  • Congressional Record
  • GPO Access (1994–current)
  • Thomas (1989–90 to current)
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1985–current )
  • LexisNexis (1985–current )
  • Westlaw (1985–current )
  • transcript available on microfiche (1977–98)
  • Illinois General Assembly website* (transcripts from 77th GA (1971–72) to current)
  • Westlaw from 91st GA (1999–2000) to current (in Illinois Legislative History Testimonies (IL-LH-TMY))
6. Reconciliation

conference report

same as 4

if issued, conference reports can be found in Journal of one of the chambers of the General Assembly

see step 7 for sources

7. Executive Action

presidential message

  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
  • GPO Access (1993–current)
  • LexisNexis (1979–current)
  • Westlaw (1986–current, signing statements; 2000 to current, messages)
  • print: separately published journals of each chamber, House & Senate
  • Illinois General Assembly website* (91st GA (1999–2000) to current)
  • Westlaw from 91st GA (1999–2000) to current (Illinois Legislative History Journals (IL-LH-JRNLS))

* Illinois General Assembly Web site, at http://www.ilga.gov

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