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Louisiana Legislative History  

Last Updated: Aug 30, 2014 URL: http://libguides.law.tulane.edu/content.php?pid=209929 Print Guide RSS Updates
Louisiana Legislative History Print Page
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What Documents are Used to Compile a Louisiana Legislative History

   Official information generated before a bill becomes a law make a legislative history. These include edited verions of a bill, committee hearing minutes or recordings about a bill, and legislative calendar and journal entries which track bill progress through the legislative process.  The House and Senate do not issue reports on bills. 

   Unofficial sources can also be helpful and include bill sponsors as well as law review and newspaper articles. 

    Video & Audio Resources

    • Louisiana House of Representatives
      The House has video of all house committee meetings available online from 1999 to the present (click on Video On Demand - Library). From 2004 to the present, meetings can be accessed by "Video On Demand." From 2003 back to 1999, videos are "Available Only by Request" and must be scheduled for viewing.
    • Louisiana Senate
      The Senate has committee meeting videos available online from 2008 (click on Broadcast Archives).
    • Louisiana Legislature Archive
      The legislature's archives 225-922-1209 has some hearing audiotapes back to the late 1970s.

    Mail Resources

     

    • Louisiana News Bureau
      LA News Bureau is a commercial service which provides copies of bills and other information for a fee. 504-342-1240
     

    Louisiana Legislative History

    What Is A Legislative History?

       A legislative history is research into the history of a bill often beginning before the bill is introduced in the legislature and ending when it is either passed into law or is tabled or vetoed.  Most bills never get passed.  A legislative history includes documents from every step of the law-making process.  These documents have a bewildering array of names that are often used interchangeably.

    Why Do A Legislative History?

    1. Legislative Intent - Ambiguities in statutory language are often resolved in courts. Legislative intent can be used to persuade a judge to interpret a disputed meaning of a statute in a favorable way for clients.

    2. Guide for Drafting Related Laws - Lawyers are often involved in the research and drafting of new bills in the interest of clients.  Research into federal law is helpful when drafting similar state laws and vice versa.

       

      How Do I Compile a Louisiana Legislative History?

      From 1997 to the present, all available legislative history documents (except committee minutes*) are online here.

      • You will need the act number, year, and session of the legislation.  This information is in the historical notes following the statute in West's Louisiana Statutes Annotated.  With this information, you can go to the legislature's website, scroll to bill search, choose the session and year, change HB to ACT, and click view.

      *Committee minutes can be ordered from the House Docket 225-342-6458 or the Senate Docket 225-342-2365.

      Before 1996, you will need the bill number, year, and session.  This information is in the Acts of Louisiana.  With this information, legislative histories can be ordered from the House Docket 225-342-6458 or the Senate Docket 225-342-2365.

      Before 1976, there is no written or recorded legislative history information, except for entries in the Legislative Calendar.

       

      Resources in New Orleans

      Resources

      1997-present

      Before 1996

      Before 1950

       

       

      Bills

      Online

      Loyola Law Library

      (bound)

       

      Tulane Law Library

      (microfilm 1997; unbound paper 1998-present)

       

      Loyola Law Library

      (bound back to 1970)

       

      New Orleans Public Library

      (microfilm back to 1950)

       

      Tulane Law Library

      (microfilm 1952-1973; bound 1974-1986; microfilm 1987-1996)

       

       

       

      Law Library of Louisiana

      Calendars, Resumes, and Journals

      Tulane Law Library

      Loyola Law Library

      Law Library of Louisiana

      Loyola Law Library

      Law Library of Louisiana

      Law Library of Louisiana

      (complete set - some available only in French)

      Committee Meetings/Hearings

      House

      (1999 to present)

      Senate

      (2008 to present) 

      Legislative Archives 225-922-1209  has some audiotapes back to the late 1970s

       

      Definitions

      Act: a bill which has been enacted by the legislature

      Amendment: a bill that changes an existing act

      Bill: a proposed act drafted by a legislative body. Bills are usually numbered consecutively as they are introduced

      LA Calendar: lists bills in numerical order, once a week during the session. It indexes bills and gives history and status.

      LA House and Senate Journals: include daily outlines of a bill's progress, voting records of legislators, absence reports, etc. They do not include verbatim floor debates.

      LA Resume: is published at the end of each legislative session and includes detailed tables of all legislative activity. It has short abstracts on changes made by new acts and information on vetoed, repealed or suspended laws. It is indexed and has tables with approval and effective dates by bill number and tables with statute sections effected.

      Law: used to refer to cases, statutes, acts, regulations, ordinances, etc.

      Statute/code: a subject based arrangement of the acts of a legislature

      Compiled Edition of the Civil Code

       

      People Resources

      Bill sponsors are sometimes the only source of information on state legislation. Bills list the sponsor information.

      • To contact lawmakers in the House
        225-342-6945
      • To contact lawmakers in the Senate
        225-342-2040
      • Public Update Legislative Service (PULS Line)
        800-256-3793
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