California Legislative Intent

This guide provides resources for doing research on determining legislative intent of bills passed by the California legislature.

State legislative documents

Assembly Final History (1973- )

Provides information on all introduced bills and may include the following information:

  • Author/sponsor
  • Title
  • Bill number and summary
  • Committees to which the bill was referred
  • Dates of amendments
  • Floor votes -- individual and total
  • Chapter law number and date approved
  • Law as passed and title
  • Code citation

KFC 14 C31a California Collection


Senate Final History (1973- )

Provides information on all introduced bills.  Provides similar information in Senate Final History as provided in the Assembly Final History noted above.

KFC 14 C31s California Collection


California State Publications (1949- )

Index to select published hearings and reports.  Use index for each annual volume to obtain publication number and exact name of publication.  Publications available at depository document libraries (SCU University Library, SJSU, Stanford, etc.)

KFC 1 C3 California and Microform Collections


Assembly File Analysis (1975- )

Prepared by the Assembly Office of Research.  Short analysis and comments on Senate and Assembly bills which are provided to Assembly members prior to final votes on bills.  May include the following information:

  • Selected bill author, title, number and summary
  • Committee referred
  • Hearing citation and report summary
  • Law title
  • Veto messages
  • Code citation

KFC 20 A77 California Collection


Assembly and Senate Daily Journals

Comprehensive coverage of the Senate and Assembly.  Law library has incomplete collection in hard-copy, other on microfiche.  SCU University Library has complete collection.  Contains administrative reports of the state departments for 1881-1943 and reports of standing and joint interim committees of the Senate and Assembly (1957-1970) published in the appendices to the journals.  The Daily Journals may include the following information:

  • Bill title and number
  • Committee referred
  • Text of amendments
  • Text of resolutions
  • Roll call
  • Messages from the other house or Governor
  • Appointments
  • Committee reports and motions

KFC 14 C33 California and Microform Collections


Governor's Chaptered Bill Files

Part of a comprehensive search for legislative history documents includes a check of the Governor’s Chaptered Bill Files. When the governor signs a bill into law, the bill is filed with the Secretary of State and chronologically “chaptered.” For each bill that is chaptered, a file is created containing the documents the governor’s office received regarding that bill.

Heafey Law Library has all of the available film, from 1943 – 1995. The California State Archives has hard copy of the files for the years 1943 - 2010.  Some of the materials may also be available on the legislative website, coverage begins with the 1993/94 session.

The film may contain some or all of the following types of information:

  • Reports by the Legislative Counsel regarding the selected bills and includes bill number, sponsor, committee, vote(s) (Assembly and Senate), date of vote(s)
  • Committee reports
  • Finance reports
  • Letter from sponsor, from those that support or oppose the bill
  • Suggested veto message
  • Fiscal impact statement
  • Digest
  • Comments

KFC 20 C35 Microform Collection


Legislative Counsel Opinions

Cited in Deering's Annotated Codes.  Some are published in Assembly Journal and indexed in annual Assembly Final History.

  • See proceeding entries for call numbers and locations

Opinions of the Attorney General of California (1943- )

The California Attorney General, as the chief law officer of the state, provides legal opinions upon request to designated state and local public officials and government agencies on issues arising in the course of their duties.  The formal legal opinions of the Attorney General has been accorded "great respect" and "great weight" by the courts.

KFC 779 A55 California and Microform Collections


Assembly bills (1969- )

All versions of bill available on microfiche.  Also available on Lexis and WestLaw.

KFC 6 Microform Collection


California Law Revision Commission Reports, Recommendations, and Studies (1955- )

The California Law Revision Commission is designed to study and review areas of the law, receive suggestions and proposed changes to the law from various sources and recommend changes to the law to bring California into conformity with modern conditions.  These volumes contain:

  • Cumulative tables of sections affected by commission recommendations
  • Recommendations and study reports
  • Annual report
  • Appendices

KFC 27 A3 California Collection

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