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California Legislative History: Histories

This guide provides an overview of California legislative history materials available at Rains Library, as well as a how-to guide to perform your own legislative history.

Using Histories to Trace A Bill's Path Through the Legislature

Once you have identified the bill number, the next step is to locate the bill's history. Histories list each action taken on a bill from its introduction to the governor's signature or veto, including who introduced the bill and which committees it was sent to and when.

For each two year legislative session, the Assembly and Senate both issue Final Histories, large print volumes that list the history for each bill introduced during the session, organized by bill number. To find your bill's history, access the Assembly or Senate Final History for the legislative session when your bill was introduced and then flip to your bill's number.

The Assembly Chief Clerk's website provides scans of Assembly and Senate Final Histories:

The library also keeps Final Histories for some years in print:

In addition to the Final History, you may see references to the Weekly History, Daily History, or Daily File. These are essentially earlier versions of the Final History:

  • The Daily File lists the proposed agenda for each legislative day.
  • The Daily History lists what actually happened on each legislative day.
  • The Daily History is compiled into the Weekly History, which is in turn compiled into the Final History.