Research guides

Pennsylvania Legislative History

Step 2: Locate Bill No.

The act number must then be converted to its HB (House Bill), SB (Senate Bill), or JR (Joint Resolution) number.

Online

Using the Pennsylvania General Assembly's website (1975-present):

  1. Start on the Pennsylvania General Assembly's Acts on General Legislation Approved webpage.
  2. Click on the desired year.
  3. Scroll down to find the desired act number. Acts are in numerical order. Each act number is followed by the date enacted, the bill number, and the subject. All act numbers will have an HB (House Bill), SB (Senate Bill), or JR (Joint Resolution) number.

Using the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau's website:

  1. Start on the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau's Pamphlet Laws webpage (1802-1806, 1960, 1963 - 2009).
  2. Click on the desired year. Click on the page for "General Laws".
  3. Scroll down to find the desired act number. Acts are in numerical order. Click on the "subject" of the act. This will download the PDF of the act as it is in the Laws of Pennsylvania. There should be an HB (House Bill), SB (Senate Bill), or JR (Joint Resolution) number located before the text of the act.

Research Tip

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

Print

  1. Locate the volume of History of House Bills or History of Senate Bills related to the year of the act.
          • Publication of the History of House and Senate Bills ceased in hard copy in 1998. For acts enacted after 1998, see the "Online" section above.
  2. Look in the appropriate charts/indexes for the act.
          • 1983-1998: Refer to the Q pages (pagination is by letter) in the History volume. Look at the chart to find the act number; the bill number is located in the next column.
          • 1970-1982: Refer to the T pages (pagination is by letter) in the Final House History or Final Senate History volumes. Look at the chart to find the act number; the bill number is located in the next column.
          • Pre-1970: There are often charts entitled "Act Numbers of Bills on General Legislation Approved by the Governor". Look in the History of House Bills' and History of Senate Bills' tables of contents for these charts. In addition, you should also consult both indexes to the House and Senate Journals, whenever possible, by the subject of the act and the bill number.
  3. Match the act to the bill number. All act numbers will have an HB (House Bill), SB (Senate Bill), or JR (Joint Resolution) number.

Research Tip

Bill numbers are also found at the beginning of the act in the Laws of the General Assembly for 1965-present. For a complete list of where to find the Laws of the General Assembly, see the Pennsylvania Session Laws guide.