In the ordinary course of statutory interpretation researchers can usually rely on the plain meaning of the text in hand to identify the statute’s intent. However, there are times when the text of a statute can be complicated and/or ambiguous. In that case, the legislative history of a statute can be relevant in determining the legislature’s intent at enactment. The types of documents generated during the legislative process can include, inter alia, alternative bills, committee reports, committee hearings, committee prints, and debates. Locating those materials can be very time consuming – unless they have been previously compiled and published. A compiled legislative history, therefore, can save the researcher an enormous amount of time by pulling all the relevant materials together.
This research guide lists compiled legislative histories held by the Chastek Library in print form (check the Other Sources tab for microform and electronic compiled legislative histories).
Chastek Library, Gonzaga University School of Law | 721 N. Cincinnati St. Spokane, WA 99220-3528 | 509.313.3758