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Finding California Legislative History

A guide and checklist for finding California Legislative materials of use to legal researchers.

Check for any Published Committee Reports or Hearings

It is rare to find published reports and hearings, but some do exist. Generally the published reports or hearings rarely concentrate on a specific bill. Instead, they tend to focus on a more general problem facing the State. Therefore, when consulting the sources below, be sure to check the years immediately preceding the bill for hearings and reports on the general subject addressed by the bill. Most hearings are never transcribed. For very recent hearings, however, it is sometimes possible for interested persons to request a transcript from the chair of the committee that conducted the hearing.

To find out which committees may have conducted hearings or issued reports on a bill, consult the Bill History — the Final Calendar or Final History.

Print tools for finding citations to hearings & reports

Use these print sources to find out if a hearing or report is available in print.

  • California State Publications, 1982 to 2000 on microfiche, Fiche Cabinet 8, Drawer 2. Arranged by committee. (For later editions, see the "Online tools" listed below. For earlier editions, consult one of the other libraries listed in this guide.)

  • Hearings and Reports of Committees of the California Legislature, 1965 to 1984, with some gaps, KFC 20 .R45 Law Stacks). Lists published documents alphabetically by committee.

  • California Interim Legislative Committees and their Reports, 1957 to 1961, KFC 20 .L4 Law Stacks). Lists published documents by committee and also has a subject index. (For earlier editions — going back as far as 1937 — consult one of the other libraries listed in this guide.)

  • The Appendices of the Journals of the Senate and the Assembly from 1946 to 1970 (for the Senate) and from 1956 to 1970 (for the Assembly), Fiche Cabinet 9, Drawer 2. During these years, the Appendices contained selected reports of the standing and joint committees of the California legislature. The Appendices for 1939– are filed right before or right after the Journals for the year in question.

  • California Hearings and Reports Index, 1984-–1994 by Laura Petitore, Hastings Law Library, KFC 20 .P48 1995 Law Reference Desk.

  • List of Special Committees and Commissions by Legislative Session, 1850–1936, Berkeley Law Library KFC 20 .L37 Reference.


Online tools for finding citations to hearings & reports

Hearings and reports from the California legislature are not available online. But these online sources will tell you if a hearing or report is available in print.

Contact Legislative Offices for Unpublished Information

For relatively recent legislation it is often useful to call: (1) the author and sponsors of the bill; (2) the committee(s) that considered it; and/or (3) any partisan caucuses (the Assembly or Senate Republican and Democratic Caucuses) that may have been involved. A staff person may be willing to check the relevant files for useful documentation on the bill.

Free Online Sources

The California Senate and Assembly maintain these lists of members, committees, and caucuses.

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