Posted By Tove Klovning on November 12, 2013
At the federal level a legislative history documents consist of bills and their amendments, hearings, committee reports, debates, and presidential statements which are easily accessible both in print and online via FDSys. The Missouri General Assembly on the other hand does not publish any committee hearing or reports for public access. There are very few documents available to the general public, at best; the researcher may end up with only an article written by a sponsor, or left to compare the introduced bill to subsequent versions of the bill. What are your options?
- The Missouri General Assembly facilitates online bill tracking from the Missouri General Assembly website. The bill tracking database provides links to bill texts, bill summaries, and fiscal notes (1995 to present).
- Current Missouri House & Senate Journals are also made available from the Missouri General Assembly website. The House Journal is available from 1998 to present, select “Past Session Archives” to see journals from previous sessions. The Senate Journal is available online from 1996 to present.
- In Missouri committee hearings are not usually recorded or transcribed, but there are verbatim transcripts of a few selected hearings. These hearings are on file at the State Legislative Library.
- Committees are not required to compile reports and if reports are generated, they are not maintained. Access to past and current session reports will therefore vary in their availability and for the most time be difficult or impossible to access. Success will depend on whether the committee chair or sponsor decided maintained a personal copy and provide to access to it. For contact information consult the “Missouri Blue Book” (Official Manual State of Missouri) on the web http://www.sos.mo.gov/bluebook/. To access past committee directories consult “Missouri Blue Book” in print in our library via call # JK5431, to access past committee directories. In 2011, a change to the state law required the Official Manual be published online only
- When the General Assembly is not in session, there may be special (interim) committees. Sometimes these special interim committees will generate reports which later are compiled and indexed by subject and committee. These reports are made available at the State Legislative Library and the archive goes back to 1940s.
- Floor Debates are not officially recorded in print. However, “live” audio of House and Senate debates are available via the House website and via the Senate website.
- Governor’s veto messages since 1999 can be accessed via the governor’s web site. These are also printed in the House and Senate journals.
- Older Missouri Sessions Laws are available in print in our library or via Hein Online (1813 to present) or via LLM C DIGITAL (1891-1995).
- Need more background info? William H. Manz. Guide to State Legislative and Administrative Materials, 2002 ed. 304-305 (2002) KF1 .G8 2002 . See also Julie M. Cheslik & Wanda M. Temm, Missouri Legal Research (2011) KFM7875 .T46 2011.
- Location and contact information of the Missouri Legislative Library: 201 W Capitol Ave # 117A. Jefferson City, MO 65101 (573) 751-4633 www.moga.state.mo.us
Mark Kloempken and Tove Klovning