The House and Senate Journals contain the official proceedings of the House of Representatives and Senate. The Journals include the text of proposed amendments to legislation and record votes. The Journals do not routinely contain transcripts of debates on bills; material such as speeches, statements of intent, parlimentary inquiries or other discussion may occasionally be included if members of the Legislature specifically asked that it be recorded in the Journals.
Printed journals for most sessions are available at the Legislative Reference Library, in law libraries around the state, and at the Dallas and Houston public libraries.
Since 1973, the Texas Legislature has recorded most public committee hearings and House and Senate floor debates. Listening to these recordings may be helpful in compiling a bill's legislative history. To review or request recordings, locate the following dates in the bill history:
Online recordings of House hearings and debates are available for the 80th Regular Session.
Online recordings of Senate hearings and debates are available for the 80th Regular Session.
Recordings may be ordered through the mail or obtained in person at the House or Senate media offices:
House Tapes, 63rd Legislature (1973) - present
John H. Reagan Building, Room 330
105 West 15th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-5729 Fax
*Requests must be in writing and paid in advance. View a sample request form.
Legislative Reference Library
1100 N. Congress Ave. Room 2N.3
Austin, Texas 78701
NOTE: Due to preservation concerns for the original cassette tapes, patrons are no longer able to listen to the original tapes. Digitized copies of the Senate recordings are available from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Committee hearings and floor debates are not routinely transcribed; however, they may occasionally be available. Contact the offices holding the recordings for each chamber to ask about the availability of transcripts.
A variety of sources can provide background material, analysis and historical perspective for legislation which may be useful to the researcher. The sources suggested below may contain useful information which is not directly linked to a bill number.
Legislative interim committees and special investigative committees may be assigned to conduct in-depth studies of significant issues, to review the effectiveness of new legislation, and to develop legislative proposals for upcoming sessions.
Search the Legislative Reports database by subject or keyword for related reports.
Reports issued by state agencies, the House Research Organization, the Senate Research Center, and the Sunset Advisory Commission may also help to identify legislative intent. Recent reports are often available on the web site of the agency issuing the report; older reports may be available at the Legislative Reference Library or at other Texas State Depository Libraries.