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Ohio Legislative History Guide

Background Information

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Locate the Session Law Citation [Example from Ohio Legislative Service Commission ] from history section of the current statute:
    1. UC Law Library
      1. Page's Ohio Revised Code Annotated
      2. Baldwin's Ohio Revised Code Annotated
      3. Anderson's Superseded Ohio Revised Code Law (Law Microforms)
    2. Westlaw*
    3. Lexis*
  2. Locate the Session Law:
    1. UC Law Library
      1.  
        1. Laws of Ohio (1803 - 1998)
        2. Baldwin's Ohio Legislative Service (1971 - 2003)
    2. Ohio General Assembly
    3. Ohio Capitol Connection *
  3. Locate the Bill:
    1. UC Law Library
      1. Law Microforms (1963 - 1984)
    2. Ohio Historical Society (1838 - present)
    3. Ohio General Assembly
    4. Ohio Capitol Connection*
  4. Locate the Legislative Services Commission (LSC) Bill Analysis:
    1. UC Law Library
      1. Law Microform (1963 - 1988)
    2. Legislative Service Commission
    3. Ohio Historical Society
    4. Ohio General Assembly
    5. Ohio Capitol Connection*
  5. Locate the House and Senate consideration of the bill:
    1. UC Law Library
      1. Ohio House and Senate Journals (1880-1998)
      2. The Bulletin (1977 - 1992)
      3. Summary of Enactments (1975 - 1991)
      4. Digest of Enactments (1997 - present)
      5. Baldwin's Legislative Service (1971 - 2003)
    2. Ohio General Assembly
      1. Bill Analyses and Texts
      2. Status Report of Legislation
      3. Synopsis of Committee Amendments
      4. Conference Committee Synopsis
      5. Fiscal Notes
      6. Votes
      7. Ohio Legislature Live (1997 - present)
    3. Oho Legislative Service Commission
      1. Bill Analyses
      2. Status Report of Legislation
      3. Synopsis of Committee Amendments
      4. Conference Committee Synopsis
      5. Fiscal Notes
    4. Ohio Capitol Connection*
      1. LSC Bill Analyses
      2. Bill Texts
      3. Bill Status and Legislative Activity
      4. Synopsis of Committee Reports and Hearings
      5. Hannah Report
      6. Week In Review
    5. Ohio Historical Society
      1. Bill files (1949 - present)
  6. Sources for secondary materials: Newspapers, Journals, Newsletters
    1. Cincinnati Enquirer
    2. Columbus Dispatch
    3. Cleveland Plain Dealer
    4. Ohio State Bar Association Report
    5. Ohio State Law Journal
  • References
    David A. Gold, A Guide to Legislative History in Ohio (Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 1985). Law Ref KFO75 .G65 1985

    E. Pollack and C. O'Brien, The History of Legislative Publications in Ohio, 13 Ohio State Law Journal 307 (1952). Law Per K15 .H567

    Melanie Putnam and Susan Schaefgen, Ohio Legal Research Guide (1997). Law Ref KFO75 .P88 1997

    Katherine Hall and Sara Sampson, Ohio Legal Research (2007). Law Ref KFO75 .H357 2007
  •  

    * Access Restricted. See Reference Librarian for more detail.

    Glossary of Terms

    • Baldwin's Legislative Service
      Baldwin's Legislative Service (available on Westlaw)Annotated contains the laws enacted by the Ohio General Assembly. Also included: Status Report of Legislation; Current Amendments to the Constitution, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and other court rules; Case notes and Journal references; Tables of Laws enacted (listed by Bill #, Revised Code section, and Court Rules).
    • Bill
      A bill is simply a proposed law. In Ohio, bills can originate from either the Senate or the House of Representatives. As each bill is introduced in the General Assembly, they are numbered consecutively and abbreviated HB or SB to indicate its house of origin (e.g., HB for House Bill & SB for Senate Bill). If the introduced bill is amended or substituted, the notation "Am." Or "Sub." will be added to the bill number (e.g. H.B 3, or Am. H.B. 3, or Am. Sub. H.B. 3). **Note that the bill number remains unchanged. Bills that do not pass in the two-year General Assembly must be re-introduced into the next General Assembly with a new bill number. It should also be noted that although House and Senate bills that share the same bill number may be companion to one another, that might not always be the case (e.g., HB 3 is not the same SB 3). **
    • Bill Files
      A bill file typically contains various versions of a particular bill, a synopsis of committee amendments, committee reports, testimony, fiscal notes, and local impact statements. Bill files are compiled by the Legislative Service Commission and housed at the Ohio Historical Society.
    • Bulletin, The
      Provides the title and actions taken on every bill introduced in either house of the General Assembly.
    • Committee Reports
      As a bill works its way through the legislative process, it will be assigned to a standing committee. If the committee reports the legislation back to the full House/Senate, it will issues a committee report. Typically, reports are not available before 1989. Available reports can be found in the Bill file or online at Ohio Capital Connection.
    • Digest of Enactments (Formerly Summary of Enactments)
      Provides a summary of all bills that have been enacted by the General Assembly.
    • Fiscal Note
      Prepared by the Legislative Service Commission, fiscal notes discuss the fiscal implication of the proposed legislation (i.e., how each bill will monetarily affect a community).
    • House and Senate Journals
      The House and Senate Journals are the official printed records of the activities of the Ohio General Assembly. The respective Clerk's office prints the journals on the day following each session day. The text of floor amendments are included in the Journal, but not bills, reports, or debates. The Journal is bound at the end of the Assembly. The Bulletin is reprinted in its index.
    • Laws of Ohio
      This publication contains all the laws passed by the Ohio General Assembly. Vetoed bills, as well as the uncodified laws (those laws which are not permanent in nature and not codified in the Revised Code) are also included.
    • Legislative Services Commission (LSC) Bill Analysis
      The Legislative Service Commission produces an analysis for bills scheduled for a committee hearing in either the Ohio Senate or Ohio House of Representatives. Each analysis gives the reader a summation of the proposed legislation. As a bill moves through the House and the Senate, the bill's analysis is updated to reflect any changes. After a bill passes both the House and the Senate, LSC prepares a final analysis. Analyses are an excellent source for determining legislative intent.
    • Ohio Report
      Gongwer's daily Ohio Report provides detailed coverage of every bill in the General Assembly and closely tracks the intricate workings of the executive and judicial branches.
    • Session Law
      The term session law refers to an enactment of the Ohio General Assembly. They are officially published in the Laws of Ohio. The Laws of Ohio contains all the laws passed by the Ohio General Assembly. Vetoed bills, as well as the uncodified laws (those laws which are not permanent in nature and not codified in the Revised Code) are also included. Session laws are also located in Baldwin's Ohio Legislative Service, the General Assembly's website, and Ohio Capital Connection.
    • Session Law Citation
      The Session Law Citation is located in the history section of both commercial versions of the Ohio Revised Code (i.e., Page's Ohio Revised Code Annotated and Baldwin's Ohio Revised Code Annotated). See Example.
    • Status Report of Legislation
      The Ohio Legislative Service Commission compiles the Status Report of Legislation. The Status Report lists the action taken on a bill or resolution as it works its way through the Ohio General Assembly.
    • Summary of Enactments
      Provides a summary of all bills that have been enacted by the General Assembly.
    • Weekly Report (formerly the Hannah Report) is a daily newsletter from Ohio Capital Connection covering political activity in Ohio. Each newsletter contains pertinent information assessing a particular bill's impact and intent. Committee reports, Senate and House testimony, and relevant news articles are included.