Research guides

Pennsylvania Legislative History

Step 1: Identify the Act

Legislative histories are compiled on acts, not codified statutes. Act numbers are typically found below the text of the statute section. For where to find the Pennsylvania statutes, see the Pennsylvania Statutes guide.

Note also that a legislative history cannot be compiled on a particular section of an act as there is no indexing by section. The history must be compiled for the entire act, and then remarks dealing with a specific section can be identified.

Online

The act number can usually be found at the end of the Pennsylvania Statute section.

  1. Locate the specific statute section using the Pennsylvania Statutes.
  2. Locate the act information listed in the statute's legislative source. The source is typically found below the text of the statute. Different vendors use different terminology to indicate source information.
  3. If the legislative source includes multiple acts, determine which act or acts are of interest. It may be helpful to look at the "Historical and Statutory Notes", when available.
  4. From the selected act(s), determine the date(s) and act number(s):
        • Date = date the act was approved by the governor
        • P.L.# = 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.# = the act number (Certain years have no distinguishing characteristics, like "No.", that explicitly identifies the act number.)
        • §# = the specific section of the act the statute refers to

Research Tip

Pennsylvania legislative histories can only be completed fully online for acts passed after 1975 (for amendatory acts, only after 1990).

Print

The act number can usually be found at the end of the Pennsylvania Statute section.

  1. Locate the specific statute section using the Pennsylvania Statutes.
  2. Locate the act information listed in the statute's legislative source. The source is typically found below the text of the statute. Different vendors use different terminology to indicate source information.
  3. If the legislative source includes multiple acts, determine which act or acts are of interest. It may be helpful to look at the "Historical and Statutory Notes", when available.
  4. From the selected act(s), determine the date(s) and act number(s).
        • Date = date the act was approved by the governor
        • P.L.# = 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.# = the act number (Certain years have no distinguishing characteristics, like "No.", that explicitly identifies the act number.)
        • §# = the specific section of the act the statute refers to