Research guides

Pennsylvania Legislative History

Step 3: Bill History

Once the bill number has been located, the history entry can be found. The History of House Bills and the History of Senate Bills provides a brief summary of each bill and records its status through the legislative process.

Online

The bill history is only available online from the Pennsylvania General Assembly's website from 1975 to present. If the act is an amendatory act, then the bill history is only available from 1990 to present. If the date of the act is before then, you will need to use the print resources listed below to find the history.

        1. From the bill number found on the Pennsylvania General Assembly's website (see Step 2 for instructions), click on the bill number's hypertext link to see information about the bill.
        2. Underneath the "Bill Information" header, there are three hypertext links. Click on the middle "History" link to see the full legislative path of the bill.

Research Tip

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

Print

From the History of House Bills or History of Senate Bills, find the history entry.

For acts passed after 1969:

        • Find the history entry for the bill number. History entries are arranged in numerical order by bill number in the History of House/Senate Bills.

For acts passed before 1970:

        • Find the history entries for the bill number. History entries are located in multiple places, and we recommend checking all that are available.
                • 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.
                • History of House/Senate Bills by bill number.

Research Tip

Sometimes it is challenging to find the relevant entry in the Legislative Journals' subject index for older acts. Try looking at the act summary found at the beginning of each act in the Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Terms can also be found in the margins next to the text of the act. Key terms from the summary and margins were often used in the Journal indexes.