Guide to Arizona Legislative History

 0.  Introduction
 1.  Find a current set of Arizona Revised Statutes, Annotated.
 2.  Find all relevant Arizona session laws.
 3.  Find the bill status or chronology.
 4.  Find references to possible interim or study committees on the subject of the law.
 5.  Find the introduced version of the bill.
 6.  Find studies or reports on the topic of the bill from the approximate time of its passage.
 7.  Get copies of items in the bill files at the Arizona House of Representatives and at the Arizona State Senate.
 8.  Find all relevant standing committee minutes.
 9.  Review the materials for any references to precursor interim or study committees.
10. Look for additional resources that might mention the legislation.

0. Introduction

In general, a legislative history is a compilation which follows a bill chronologically through the legislative process, usually with the purpose of discovering legislative intent. In the Arizona Legislative Manual (Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Legislative Council, 2003), Legislative Intent is defined as:

A goal of the Legislature in enacting legislation. Intent may be stated in enacted legislation or may be ascribed from the provisions of the law and circumstances contemporaneous with its enactment. Intent does not have the force of law but may be used to interpret statutory provisions.

Unlike at the Federal level where intent might be picked up from a floor debate recorded in the Congressional Record, in Arizona, in general, the Journal of the House of Representatives and the Journal of the Senate only record the introduction and the final disposition of bills along with the details of votes.

It is possible that a legislative history of a statute has already been compiled and published in a law review or some other source. If not, primary and secondary Arizona legal materials for use in the compilation of Arizona legislative history can be found at:

  • Arizona Legislature, 1700 W. Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85007
    • Clerk of the Arizona House of Representatives
    • Senate Resource Center
  • Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building, 1901 W. Madison, Phoenix Arizona 85009

1. Find a current set of Arizona Revised Statutes, Annotated.

This can be found at the State of Arizona Research Library in the Law Reference area on the 3rd floor. The public may request access to the Law stacks at:

State of Arizona Research Library
Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
1901 W. Madison
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 926-3870
Email

Arizona Revised Statutes that have not been annotated as well as older bound volumes of Arizona Revised Statutes, Annotated, pocket parts and tables showing section number changes are available by request in the Law Reference area.

  • Find the section of the code that you want to research, e.g., A.R.S. § 4-101(16)
    • Copy the title page and verso of the volume.
    • Copy the "Historical and Statutory Notes," the "Law Review and Journal Commentaries," the "Notes of Decisions" and anything else that appears to be relevant following the section of code.
  • See if there is a pocket part at the back of the volume.
    • See if the section of code you want to research is also listed there.
    • If necessary, copy the "Historical and Statutory Notes," the "Law Review and Journal Commentaries," the "Notes of Decisions" and anything else that appears to be relevant following the section of code.

2. Find all relevant Arizona session laws.

Working with the "Historical and Statutory Notes" from the annotated code, find the chapters of the session laws referenced:

  • 1997+
    • Select the appropriate session and chapter from the session laws posted on the Arizona Legislative Information System (A.L.I.S.) web site
      • Print out the relevant chapters
      • Print out the bill status overview
      • NOTE: ONLY THE PRINT VERSIONS OF THE STATUTES, SESSION LAWS AND BILLS ARE CONSIDERED "OFFICIAL" SO IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO MAKE COPIES FROM THOSE AS WELL (SEE BELOW)
  • Before 1997
    • Find the Session laws, State of Arizona online.
      • Find the year(s) and volume(s) containing chapters and sections listed in the history and notes.
      • Copy the title page and verso of the volume(s) and the chapter(s) noted in the "Historical and Statutory Notes" from the code
  • For Official Copies
    • ​​Find the print set of Session laws, State of Arizona in the Arizona Law Collection at the State of Arizona Research Library.

3. Find the bill status or chronology.

Working with the bill numbers noted in the session laws:

  • 1997+
  • Before 1997, and official copies for 1997+
    • Find the sets of the Journal of the House of Representatives and the Journal of the Senate in the Arizona Law Collection on the 3rd floor of the Law and Research Library.
      • Find the year(s) and volumes containing the history of bills noted in the session laws.
      • Copy the title page and verso of the volumes and the chronology of actions taken on the relevant bill(s) from the bill history sections which can be found in the index of both sets of journals.

4. Find references to possible interim or study committees on the subject of the law.

Find the sets of the Journal of the House of Representatives and the Journal of the Senate online or in print in the Arizona Law Collection at the State of Arizona Research Library.

  • Start with the year and volumes containing the history of the bill being researched and look in the committee section to see if there were any interim or study committees listed on the topic of the bill.
  • Also check the journals for two or three preceding years for any listings of interim or study committees listed on the topic of the bill which eventually became law.
  • Copy the title pages and verso of the volumes and the committee references from any relevant journals.

5. Find the introduced version of the bill.

Working with the bill numbers noted in the session laws:

  • 1997+
    • Select the appropriate session and bill listed for the relevant chapter from the session laws posted on the Arizona Legislative Information System (A.L.I.S.) web site.
      • Select the relevant bill number range.
      • Select the specific bill number.
      • Select the introduced version and print it out.
      • Print out any other information related to the bill that might be helpful.​
  • Before 1997, and official copies for 1997+
    • Find the sets of House of Representatives Bills (KFA2406 .H6) and Senate Bills (KFA2406 .S4) in the Arizona Law Collection at the State of Arizona Research Library.
      • Find the year(s) and volume(s) containing the bill number(s) noted in the session laws.
      • Copy the title page(s) of the volume(s) and the bill(s).

6. Find studies or reports on the topic of the bill from the approximate time of its passage.

Go to the Information Desk on the 3rd floor of the State of Arizona Research Library and use one of the public access computers to search the Arizona State Agency Publications Collection in the Library and Archives' online catalog.

  • Select "Advanced Catalog Search" and enter study committee in the general search box and one search term in the subject search box, e.g., internet, and select "State Documents" as the location. Select the search button.
  • If you find a record for a report that you would like to see, if you see an "Electronic access" option, you may view the report online from Arizona Memory Project. Otherwise, print out the record and ask the librarian to have the report retrieved for you (the stacks are closed).
  • If the report is relevant, copy it.

7. Get copies of items in the bill files at the Arizona State Senate and at the Arizona House of Representatives.

Working with the bill status or chronology:

  • 1969-1970
    • Visit the Senate Resource Center located on the 1st floor of the Arizona State Senate at the Arizona State Capitol.
      • Ask to see the relevant bill file which may contain:
        • The version of the bill introduced in the Senate
        • The engrossed House and Senate version of the bill
        • Senate Committee minutes with attachments
        • Senate fact sheets
        • Senate voting record
        • Senate Conference Committee reports
        • The Governor's letter
        • The bill history or status report
        • Senate amendments to the bill
      • Request copies of any materials that appear to be relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))
    • NOTE: Files for the most recent few years are available in file folders. Earlier files are available only on microfilm. Also, earlier files tend to contain fewer resources than the current files. The Secretary of Senate does not keep anything that is not already in the Senate Resource Center.
  • 1971+
    • Visit the service window of the Clerk of the House on the 2nd floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol.
      • Ask to see the relevant bill file which may contain various versions of the bill:
        • The version of the bill introduced in the House
        • The House engrossed version of the bill
        • The Senate engrossed version of the bill
      • Request copies of any materials that appear relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))
    • NOTE: Files for the last three years are available in hard copy. Earlier files are available only on microfiche. Also, earlier files tend to contain fewer resources than the current files.

8. Find all relevant standing committee minutes.

Working with the bill status or chronology:

  • 1997+
  • 1967-1996
    • Visit the Senate Resource Center located on the 1st floor of the Arizona State Senate at the Arizona State Capitol.
      • Ask to see the relevant committee folder(s)
      • Request copies of any minutes that appear to be relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))
  • 1965-1996
    • Visit the service window of the Clerk of the House on the 2nd floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol.
      • Ask to see the relevant committee folder(s).
      • Request copies of any minutes that appear to be relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))

9. Review the materials for any references to precursor interim or study committees.

If there is a reference in one of the bill folders to a precursor interim or study committee, see if the minutes for that committee are available:

  • Visit the Senate Resource Center located on the 1st floor of the Arizona State Senate at the Arizona State Capitol.
    • Ask to see the relevant committee topic folder(s)
    • Request copies of any minutes that appear to be relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))
  • 1990+
    • Visit the service window of the Clerk of the House on the 2nd floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol.
      • Ask to see the relevant committee folder(s).
      • Request copies of any minutes that appear to be relevant (there will be a charge (cash or check only))

10. Look for additional resources that might mention the legislation.

  • Go to the legal index area in the State of Arizona Research Library and search the Index to Legal Periodocals & Books and Current Law Index to see if there are articles that mention of your topic or legislation.
  • Check the Hein Online database to locate the full-text of relevant articles or search for the periodical in the Library and Archives' online catalog:
    • Enter Arizona in the subject search box and select Legal Periodicals from the Location pull down menu at the bottom of the form.
    • If you find a journal or other resource that appears to cover the period that interests you, print out the record with the title and location.
  • NOTE: Law periodicals in print format are in open stacks on the 3rd Floor - Mezzanine, but periodicals in microfiche format are in closed stacks and must be retrieved. Please ask at the Law Information Desk.
  • 1982+
    • Arizona Capitol Times is a weekly newspaper that covers Arizona politics and government.
      • Current copies are kept in the State of Arizona Research Library reference area until microfilmed.
      • Earlier issues can be found on microfilm.
      • See if there is an annual index in the last issue of the year or in the first issue of the following year.
      • Articles from 2005 on might also be available through the ABI/Inform service.
  • 1959-1982
    • Arizona Legislative Review is the predecessor of the Arizona Capitol Times.
      • Microfilm copies are also available.
  • 1955-1959
    • Arizona Legislative Review [and] the Messenger is the predecessor of the Arizona Legislative Review.
      • Microfilm copies are also available.
  • 1912-1967
    • Richards, J. Morris. History of the Arizona State Legislature, 1912-1967. [Phoenix, Ariz.]: Arizona Legislative Council, 1990. Law Collection: KFA2821.5 H5 This publication is available only on microfiche and may be requested at the  Information Desk.
      • v. 1-2. 1912
      • v. 3. 1913
      • v. 4. 1913-1915
      • v. 5. 1917-1922
      • v. 6. 1923-1928
      • v. 7. 1929-1934
      • v. 8. 1935-1940
      • v. 9. 1941-1944
      • v. 10. 1945-1948
      • v. 11. 1949-1952
      • v. 12. 1953-1954
      • v. 13. 1955-1956
      • v. 14. 1957-1959
      • v. 15. 1960-1961
      • v. 16. 1962-196
      • v. 17. 1964-1965
      • v. 18. 1965-1966
      • v. 19-20. Biographies
  • 1864-1912
    • Kelly, George Henderson. Legislative history: Arizona 1864-1912. Phoenix, Ariz.: Manufacturing Stationers, 1926. Law Collection: KFA2823 .L53 Ask at the Information Desk.