There are several types of legislative history documents available in Illinois: public acts, bills, and floor debates. Generally, the best evidence for Illinois legislative history is the House and Senate floor debates. All debates back to 1971 are now available online at www.ilga.gov.
Step 1: Locate the Public Act Number
Step 2: Review the legislative history documents available on Westlaw/Lexis
When looking at an Illinois statute in Westlaw, click the History tab for a collection of the following legislative documents:
Step 3: Review the documents available on the General Assembly Website:
In addition to Westlaw, the Illinois General Assembly website (www.ilga.gov) also contains a wealth of Illinois legislative information:
Searching for Legislative History documents from 1971-1999 or bills passed between 1971 and 1999:
The Legislative Synopsis & Digest (LSD) will tell you everything that has happened to the bill, what amendments were proposed and what those amendments said. Use the LSD to determine the dates of relevant debates (see the box at the bottom of this column, Readings relevant to legislative history).
If you are researching recent legislation the text of debates may not yet be available online. Contact the Illinois House and Senate Transcribing offices to obtain copies of debates ($.50 per page or $5 per audio CD):
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