Legislative History Tutorial

What is legislative history?


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What is legislative history?

"Legislative history: The background and events leading to the enactment of a statute, including hearings, committee reports, and floor debates. Legislative history is sometimes recorded so that it can later be used to aid in interpreting the statute." (Black's Law Dictionary, 7th ed.)

A legislative history records official action taken by either the Senate or Assembly affecting the legislative process of a bill or resolution, including action taken on measures considered but not passed by the Legislature.

A compiled legislative history for a bill enacted by the Nevada Legislature would normally include the following:

  • Chronology of legislative actions, also called the bill history page (1947-current);
  • Summary of legislation (1975-current);
  • All versions of the bill–the introduced bill, any reprints/redrafts if the bill was amended, and the final, or enrolled, version of the bill (enrolled version 1864-current, all other versions 1911-current);
  • Fiscal note, if submitted;
  • Committee minutes and exhibits from the Senate and Assembly (1965-current); and
  • Journal pages showing any amendments, floor votes, and legislator comments.┬áRemarks are recorded in the journals only if requested by the legislator; otherwise the journal entry simply reports, "Remarks made by Senator X."

A history might also include, among other things:

  • Report from an interim study, called a bulletin, if the legislation was recommended by the study committee;
  • Ballot question language, explanation, and vote for a measure presented to the voters in the general election;
  • Committee minutes of related legislation;
  • Governor's veto message if the bill was vetoed; or
  • Applicable sections of the Joint Standing Rules of the Senate and Assembly or the Nevada Constitution.

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  Last updated 5/25/2017