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Illinois Legislative History Research

Prepared by Frank Houdek, SIU Law Library — Spring 2008

  GO TO: IN ORDER TO:
Step 1

Illinois Compiled Statutes (KFI1230.3 .A3)

OR

Illinois General Assembly website: Legislation & Laws: Illinois Compiled Statutes

identify Public Act number (e.g., P.A. 78–255) listed at end of each ILCS section

[remember that first number relates to the number of the General Assembly, the second to the numerical sequence in which statutes were enacted during that particular General Assembly]

Step 2

Laws of the State of Illinois [arranged by P.A. number]

OR

Illinois General Assembly website: Legislation & Laws: Public Acts (90th G.A. (1997–98) to current)

identify bill number listed at top of P.A.

print: KFI1225 .I4 (1819–current)

website: use lists to find Public Act by P.A. number; for Public Acts from previous General Assemblies, select G.A. from dropdown menu on Previous General Assemblies

Step 3

Legislative Synopsis & Digest [print, arranged by bill number] AND

House and Senate bills [micro]

OR

Illinois General Assembly website: Legislation & Laws: Bills & Resolutions (90th G.A. (1997–98) to current)

review chronology of bill, to identify likely dates of floor debate (e.g., "2nd reading" or "recalled to 2nd reading")

print: KFI1215 .I4 (1917–current)

micro: Fiche V-S 0243 and 0244 (1987–98)
film KFI1206 .I4 and .I42 (1877–1986)

website: for bills and resolutions from previous General Assemblies, select G.A. from dropdown menu on Previous General Assemblies; click on "listing" link under Legislation & Laws to find the bill number; retrieve status information and links to full text of bill

Step 4

Index of Transcripts for House or Senate Debate in the ___ General Assembly

determine page numbers for dates of debate on the bill

print: KFI1210.I4 H67 and KFI1210 .I45 (1971–98), on cabinets in micro room; must look at both Senate and House indexes for the bill since there are separate fiche sets for each chamber; NOTE: page numbers are essential because each legislative day begins at page 1

website: skip this step

Step 5

Debates of General Assembly, House and Senate [micro]

OR

Illinois General Assembly website: Senate or House: Transcripts (77th G.A. (1971–1972) to current)

read actual debate re the bill

micro: Fiche V-S 0002 and 0003; remember to consult fiche sets for both chambers

website: for transcripts from previous G.A., select from dropdown menu on Previous General Assemblies; retrieve by legislative day or date and then use "Find on this Page" feature of browser (or "search" feature of Adobe reader) to locate relevant debate (use bill number)

Step 6

Journals of the House and Senate [print]

OR

Illinois General Assembly website: Senate or House: Journals

locate and read any conference committee report or veto message from governor

print: KFI1218 .H62 and .S43 (1844–current); use "Record of Bills" at end of last volume for year, which lists each page in Journal where bill is mentioned

website: journals for 91st G.A. (1999–2000) to current; for journals from previous G.A., select from dropdown menu on Previous General Assemblies; retrieve legislative day after veto and use "Find on this Page" feature of browser to locate governor's veto message

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