Research guides

Pennsylvania Legislative History

Print Example

For this example, we will be compiling the legislative history of one of the amendments to the regulation of the milk industry in Pennsylvania.

31 P.S. 700j-301 is the statute for "Regulation of milk industry". This is where we will start to conduct our Pennsylvania legislative history.

See the Key Resources page of this guide for a list of resources needed to complete a Pennsylvania legislative history. The years covered by each source are also included.

Step 1: Identify the Act

The act number can usually be found at the end of the Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes section.

  1. Locate the specific statute section using the Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes.
  2. Locate the act information listed in the statute's legislative source.
        • In Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes, legislative source information is located below the text of the statute as "Credits".
  1. If the legislative source includes multiple acts, determine which act or acts are of interest.
        • Our example lists three acts: "1937, April 28, P.L. 417, art. III, § 301. Amended 1941, July 24, P.L. 443, § 2; 1968, July 31, P.L. 963, No. 294, § 8".
        • For this example, we will be looking at the final act, from 1968.
  1. From the selected act(s), determine the date(s) and act number(s).
        • 1968, July 31 = the date the act was approved by the governor
        • P.L. 963 = the pamphlet law number, which refers to the page the act starts on in the Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
        • No. 294 = the act number
        • § 8 = the specific section of the act the statute refers to

By following these steps, we see that Act No. 294 of 1968 is one of the acts to 31 P.S. 700j-301.

Step 2: Locate Bill No.

Use the act number to find the bill number.

  1. Locate the volume of History of House Bills or History of Senate Bills related to the year of the act.
        • For this example, look at the 1968 volumes of the History of House Bills and History of Senate Bills.
  1. Look in the appropriate chart for the act.
        • In this example, the chart begins on page 651 of the History of House Bills and this act's bill information is located on page 653. In the History of Senate Bills the chart begins on page 326 and this act's bill information is located on page 334.
  1. Match the act to the bill number.
        • Following the row for Act No. 294, the bill number is HB 2447, its printer number is 3823, and it was approved by the governor on July 31, 1968.

Therefore, the bill number to Act No. 294 of 1968 is HB 2447.

Research Tip

Bill numbers are also found at the beginning of the act in the Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 1965-present.

Step 3: Bill History

Once the bill number has been located, the history entry can be found arranged in numerical order in the respective history volume.

  1. Since the act is pre-1970, look in multiple places to find all the history entries:
        • History of House/Senate Bill by bill number.
        • Index to the House Journal by the subject of the act.
        • Index to the House Journal by the bill number.
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the subject of the act.
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the bill number.
  1. The history entry for HB 2447 appears on the following pages:
        • History of House/Senate Bill by bill number - Page 280 of History of House Bills
        • Index to the House Journal by the subject of the act - Page 61 - Milk control Commission
        • Index to the House Journal by the bill number - No index entry by bill number
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the subject of the act - No index entry relevant to our bill
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the bill number - Page 220 - House Bills in the Senate, House Bill No. 2447

Step 4: Remarks & Debate

If there are any remarks or debate, they will be listed in the history entry with the relevant pages of the House and/or Senate Journal(s).

  1. From reading the history entries we see that there are remarks in multiple places:
        • History of House/Senate Bill by number - No remarks listed.
        • Index to the House Journal by the subject of the act - Remarks - House Journal page 720-740; Remarks - House Journal page 835
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the subject of the act - No remarks.
        • Index to the Senate Journal by the bill number - Remarks - Senate Journal page 522-533
  1. Find the corresponding pages in the House and/or Senate Journal(s).
        • The remarks in the House Journal encompass pages 720-740 and 835-837, and the remarks in the Senate Journal encompass pages 522-533.

Finish

Jenkins' members can see the completed Pennsylvania Legislative History for 1968 - Act # 294, P.L. 963, HB 2447 by logging in to our Pennsylvania Legislative Histories Database.