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Oregon Legislative History Research: Step 2. Session Laws

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Using Session Laws to Find Bill Numbers

Session Laws are the bills passed into law by the Oregon Legislature during a legislative session.

If your code section has been amended, narrow your research by identifying when the relevant language in your code section went into effect or was amended. You may need to read each session law listed in the code section's history line to determine which language changes are relevant. 

In the Session Laws, the words in BOLD text are newly added in that session and the [italicized text in brackets] are deleted by the new legislation.

Once you have determined which session law you'd like to trace, locate the bill number that is located at the beginning of the chapter, often in the upper right corner. This House or Senate bill number is used to locate the available legislative history.

Example: Finding the Chapter in Oregon Laws

The history line at the end of ORS 811.060 Vehicular Assault; Penalty, [2001 c.635 §5; 2017 c.388 1], directs us first to the 2001 session laws to find the original enactment, and then to the 2017 session laws for the amendment. 

  • Go to the Oregon Laws page on the Oregon State Legislature website.
  • Select the 2001 Session.
  • Scroll down and click on Chapter 0635 for the pdf of that chapter.
  • Repeat the same process for each year/chapter in the history line.
  • Tip: If your law was passed before 1999, use the library's print copy or one of the online subscription databases listed below.

Example: Finding the Bill Number in Oregon Laws

In this example, we're looking at [2001 c.635 §5]: the original enactment of the law as it appears in the 2001 session laws. The bill number, Senate Bill 133, is near the top of the page. Chapter 635 (the "Act") may be brief or very long, but we are only interested in Section 5. Since this is the first appearance of our law, all the language will be in bold text. 

We'll locate the legislative history of SB 133 from 2001, in Step 4.

Example: the 2017 amendment

This example shows the 2017 law amending the 2001 law by adding language that includes motorcycle operators and passengers (in bold text) to the original law. To find the reasons for the change, trace the bill associated with this Chapter/Act: HB 2598 from the 2017 session. We'll locate the legislative history of HB 2598 in Step 3.

Where to find Oregon's Session Laws Online

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Oregon's Session Laws in Print

The Boley Law Library has a complete set of Oregon Laws in the Oregon Collection.