J.W. Long Law Library


Oregon Legislative Records

How do you conduct Oregon Legislative Research?

Research in Oregon legislative records requires a bill number and year.  If you have only the Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) section number, follow these steps:

  • Look at the end of the ORS section where the Oregon Laws (regular or special session) chapters and years are cited in parentheses.  For research of legislative history prior to 1953, look in the ORS, 1953 Reviser's Notes, to find the Oregon Laws chapter and year 
  • Look up the chapter in the Oregon Session Laws for that year.  The bill number is cited at the beginning of the chapter.
  • Next look at the legislative calendar in the same year's Oregon Senate and House Journal.  The calendar shows which legislative committees the bill went through.  Make a note of dates in committee from the "date of referral" to the "date of do pass".
  • With this information, go to the Oregon State Archives building located at 800 Summer Street SE (373-0701).
  • Check with the Reference Section of the Oregon State Archives to see if a legislative bill has been researched by the Reference Staff.  If so, this finding aid can be useful in researching the legislative records.
  • The Archives reference staff will produce the record of events that occurred during the aforementioned time span.  Do an inclusive search through the minutes.  Do not depend upon the dates cited in the Calendar or in the committee clerk's index at the beginning of most committee minutes.
  • The Archival records are relatively complete beginning in the 1950's and working forward.  Prior to that time, legislative history may or may not exist.
  • For further information, consult "Guide to Legislative Records in the Oregon State Archives." Law  Ref.  Z 1223.5.07 O73.  Also, online at the Oregon State Archives, Legislative Records Website at http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/banners/legis.htm.