House and Senate Journals
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:
- Names of the House and Senate committees to which the bill was referred.
- Dates the bill was considered by the committees in public hearing.
- Dates of the second and third readings in the House and Senate
Online recordings of House hearings and debates are available for the 86th R.S..
Online recordings of Senate hearings and debates are available for the 86th R.S..
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.
Senate Staff Services
Sam Houston Building, Room 175
201 East 14th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
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.
Other helpful documents
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.
State agency 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.
The Legislative Archive System is a work in progress. Complete information is not available for all bills and all sessions. Visit the Legislative Archive System status page for details. Please contact the Legislative Reference Library at 512-463-1252 if you have any questions. Information on this website is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.