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Oregon Legislative History Research: Step 4. For Bills Before 2007

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Legislative Tracings

If your bill is older than 2007, check to see if there is a legislative tracing produced by the State Archives. Tracings include:

  • House and Senate committees assigned to the bill 
  • Dates of committee hearings and work sessions
  • Page numbers in the minute summaries where the bill was discussed
  • Lists of any exhibits 
  • Identification of the audiotapes of the committee hearings
  • Tip: Actual legislative history documents may now be included in some tracings.

Locating Committee Information

If your bill doesn't have a Legislative Tracing, follow these steps using the Senate/House Journals to find the bill's committees and their dates of action.

  1.  Look up the bill number in the Senate or House Journal that corresponds to the year the bill was passed. 
  2.  Note both the Senate and House Committees that the bill was assigned to (e.g., Business, Housing, and Finance).
  3.  Under each committee, note the dates on which action occurred regarding your bill (e.g., hearings and work sessions).

 Tip: You can narrow your research by date by searching the initial bill and amendments for the relevant language: the text may have been added late in the session.

To locate an older bill, use the link below or for pre-1995 bills, use the print volumes in the library. For bills pre-dating 1971, contact the State Archives or the Knight Library at the University of Oregon.

Example: FInding the Committee History of a 2001 Bill

We're looking for the history of the original 2001 enactment of ORS 811.060 and have identified SB 133 as the relevant bill.

  1. Since there is no online version of the 2001 Senate Journal, we'll need to use the print volume in the law library.
  2. The Journal is divided into House and Senate Measures. Go to Senate Measures and find SB133.
  3. Under each committee, note the dates of the Hearings and Work Sessions. Each of the Public Hearings and Work Sessions listed can be searched for the issue of interest, or the bills and amendments associated with SB 133 can be used to determine when the language was added.

A search of the original bill (SB 133) and Senate and House amendments, shows that the language regarding vehicular assault on bicyclists was added to an existing crime bill on June 5. Thus, only the House Public Hearings and Work Sessions need to be reviewed.

Find the Minutes and Exhibits

Now that you have the bill number, the relevant Senate and House committees and the dates on which they discussed your bill, you'll want to find those committee minutes and read the exhibits prepared by the witnesses. Unfortunately, there are no written transcribed committee minutes in Oregon. Instead, a researcher can either view or listen to the proceedings on audio or video and/or read a summary of the minutes depending on the year of the legislation.

See Step 5 to locate the minute summaries, tape logs, audio logs and exhibits.

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House and Senate Journals Online

House & Senate Journals in Print

The Boley Law Library has a complete set of the Senate and House Journals in the Oregon Collection dating from 1872 to the present.