Research guides

Pennsylvania Legislative History

Step 4: Remarks & Debate

If there are any remarks or debate, they will be listed in the bill history and/or the entries in the indexes of the Legislative Journals.

Online

  1. Read through the history entry found using Step 3 and locate remarks or debate.
  2. Find the corresponding pages in the House and/or Senate Journal(s). Note that in some cases the History Entry will link directly to the relevant House and/or Senate Journal page. If the History Entry does not link directly to the House and/or Senate Journal page, there are two options:
        • Record the House and/or Senate Journal page and locate it via the online House Legislative Journals (available 1949 - present) or Senate Legislative Journals (available 1949 - present).
        • Record the House and/or Senate Journal page and locate it via the print source. For where to find the House and Senate Legislative Journals in print, see the Key Resources page of this guide.
  1. Check pages adjacent to linked entries for relevance.

Research Tip

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

Print

  1. Read through the history entry and make note of the relevant pages.
        • For acts passed after 1969: Read through the history entry and make note of the date and page numbers each time remarks or debate are listed. Look for wording like "Remarks, see House Journal, Page..." or "Remarks or Debate". If there are remarks or debate listed, you will find references by date and sometimes page number to the House or Senate Journal pages. Often there are no remarks or debate listed, or the remarks or debate listed may not relate to the section of the act in which you are interested.
        • For acts passed before 1970: Read through the history and index entries and make note of all dates and page numbers listed, even if there is no mention of remarks or debate.
  1. Find the corresponding pages in the House Legislative Journal and/or the Senate Legislative Journal. For where to find the House and Senate Legislative Journals, see the Key Resources page of this guide.
        • Publication of the House and Senate Legislative Journals ceased in hard copy in 2005. For acts passed after 2005, see the "Online" section above.

Research Tip

Debate may sometimes begin or end a few pages before or after the journal pages noted in the history entries. To ensure that you have viewed the beginning and end of a particular section of debate, try looking at a few pages before the noted page references and a few pages after.