California Legislative Publications

California Legislative Publications

Each house shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings.  The rollcall vote of the members on a question shall be taken and entered in the journal at the request of 3 members present.

California Constitution, art IV, section 7, subd. (b)

Throughout the history of our state, the California Constitution has required the legislators in Sacramento to keep a record of their official law-making activities.  Ink and paper worked well for many decades.  Today, a researcher is more likely to find the documentation of legislative actions by clicking a few keys on a computer.  A legislative history researcher needs to know at what point in time and for what document he or she should switch to a search in the library stacks.

Experienced California law librarians know that California legislative houses are not equal in their online organization of historical documents.  The California Senate and Assembly have different resources available for their Journal and related documentation.  The Assembly’s Office of the Chief Clerk has done a terrific job organizing internet resources of its current and historical publications.  A researcher will even find the Assembly’s website of use in researching California Senate historical documents.  Its website also provides PDFs of California Statutes and Amendments to the Codes back to 1850 – a valuable resource for any California legislative history researcher.

Below is a guide to help locate historical California legislative activity documents on the internet or at the Alameda County Law Library.

Resources for California legislative publications

A brief description of the official publications reporting on California legislative activity can be found HERE.

  • Daily File A Daily File is produced by both the Assembly and Senate.  The documents contain information on the Officers of the respective houses, the Order of Business, tentative schedule for the entire legislative session, the bills that are scheduled to be heard on the floor and during committee hearings. There are also Daily File publications for Assembly and Senate Extraordinary Sessions.
    • No paper versions at ACLL
    • Senate>Current http://senate.ca.gov/dailyfile
      • The Daily File is the agenda for the Senate. It contains information such as committee hearing notices and measures eligible for floor actions.  Details of the Daily File floor items can be found on the Calendar.  The Daily File is updated every legislative day.
    • Assembly>Current http://assembly.ca.gov/dailyfile
      • The Daily File contains information on the Officers of the respective houses, the Order of Business, the tentative schedule for the entire legislative session, the bills that are scheduled to be heard on the floor and during committee hearings. There are also Daily File publications for Assembly Extraordinary Sessions.
  • Daily Journal
  • Daily History
  • Weekly History
  • Final History
    • Arranged by bill number and listing action taken on all measures on file for the year.  Publications in paper form varied in delivery as government budgets changed and digital publications became standard.  Prior – issued daily and cumulated weekly, semi-annually, and annually.
    • Assembly> http://clerk.assembly.ca.gov/archive-list?archive_type=histories  Both Assembly and Senate Final Histories 1881 – 2011
    • Senate> 2015 – 2009 various links at http://senate.ca.gov/content/senate-histories
    • Paper versions at ACLL>Senate>1953, very irregular subsequent holdings>Shelf 119B
    • Paper versions at ACLL>Assembly>1972 – 2012>Shelf 119B
  • Journals, California Legislative
    • Compilation of Daily Journal include an account of proceedings, list of measures taken up, texts of amendments to bills, committee reports, etc. No transcripts of debates
    • Senate> website states prior years may be on Assembly site> Irregular, must open year links to see if Senate info is available
    • Assembly> 1849 -2012 http://clerk.assembly.ca.gov/archive-list
    • Paper/Bound volumes at ACLL>1849 – 2011>Senate and Assembly may have been bound together or separately depending on session>Compact storage beginning of KFC, check with staff for access
      • collection of Daily Journals with indices depending on year
      • Journals (Daily) by Session, may be multi-volumes
      • Index to State Agency Reports
      • Alpha Index
  • Appendix to Journal of the Assembly
    • Roll call votes
    • ACLL has bound miscellaneous Roll Call bound volumes, last session 2011
    • Some are found on the Assembly’s Office of the Chief Clerk site under the document listings for the session

Other information

Sample annotated Assembly Daily Journal – discussion of sections found in this publication http://clerk.assembly.ca.gov/sites/clerk.assembly.ca.gov/files/Annotated%20Journal.pdf

  • Summary Digest.
    Includes a short summary of each law enacted, and of each constitutional amendment, concurrent or joint resolution adopted by the Legislature during the year.  Arranged by chapter number and includes cross-reference tables, a detailed subject index and a statutory record.  Also published, since 1967, as part of Statutes of California.
  • Paper versions at ACLL>As a stand alone title> 1961 – 2008 irregular

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