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California Legislative History: Bill Files

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.

Buying Bill Files from Archives

If you decide not to purchase a complete compiled legislative history, consider purchasing bill files from an archive.

Government officials involved in the passage of the bill commonly keep files on the bill including major legislative history documents and unpublished documents that are not available elsewhere, such as internal memos and press releases.

Available bill files may include:

  • The author's bill file.
  • The committee(s)' bill files.
  • The governor's chaptered bill file, which typically includes enrolled bill reports that are written by agencies to the governor and are not otherwise made public.

Bill files are included in compiled legislative histories but you can also locate and purchase them on your own.

Most bill files are available for a nominal copying fee from:

Recent bills may still be at the office of the bill's author, committee, or governor. Call them directly to inquire if the bill file is available

Bill files before the mid-1900s may not have been preserved or may have been left by the author or governor to an archive of their own choice (e.g. the archives of their law school.) To locate these bill files, search for the authors name in: