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Louisiana Legislative History Research: Sources of Information

An informational guide to help you find the sources of information on the history of Louisiana's laws and proposed laws, including resources in both print and online.

How to compile a legislative history

To compile a legislative history, you will need the bill number, year, and session.

You can find information about bills from 1997 to present on the legislature’s website at Click on Bills, then choose the session year. Remember that sometimes there are multiple sessions in a year – these are called “extraordinary,” “organizational,” or “veto” – and if there are multiple sessions in a given year, and you are not sure which to choose, you will need to search all of them separately.

After you have navigated to the bill information page, there will be a calendar of proceedings, versions of the bill, votes recorded, and résumé digests.

For more information on finding a bill on the, you can watch video tutorials from the Louisiana House of Representatives Poynter Legislative Library: a tutorial on searching for a bill and a tutorial on a bill page's content.

Committee meeting minutes may be available online or can be ordered from the House or Senate, which may charge for their services. The committee meeting minutes can only be requested by bill number, not statute or act number.

If you only have the statute number (and not the bill number), you can get the act number on under Laws, search by statute number, and scroll to the bottom to find the act number. Once you have the act number, you can use the same Bills search but instead search by act, which will then take you to the bill information page.

If the bill you are looking for is from earlier than 1997, you will not be able to find information on – call or email the Law Library for assistance.

The farther back you go, the less material is available, both in print and online.

Other legislative information sources

West’s Louisiana Statutes Annotated notes - The notes may have 1) Louisiana State Law Institute commentary following a statute or before a group of statutes; 2) conversion tables and an overview of changes if a large area of the law has been revised; or 3) references to law review articles that discuss legislative changes.  
Other legislative or executive documents - Other documents that may be available from the legislature or from an executive agency include reports from task forces and commissions (can be legislative or executive), conference committee reports issued by the committee that meets when there are differences between the bills the chambers voted on, fiscal and actuarial notes produced by legislative staff, and veto messages by the governor.
Louisiana State Law Institute minutes - The Law Library of Louisiana and all four Louisiana law schools are on the institute’s mailing list.  You may also call the institute at 225-578-0200.
Newspapers - Search the Advocate or the Times-Picayune around the time of passage for articles on the legislation. The Law Library of Louisiana has the Times-Picayune and its ancestors in title available via library database and on microfilm back to 1837.
Law review and law journal articles - Lawyers and legislators may have published explanatory materials for bills.