Legislative Reference Library of Texas About the library Site Index

Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research

Legislative clips Legislative clips archive Texas media links Current articles Texshare databases New books New & Noteworthy
Legislative Archive System Index to Sections Affected Conference committee reports Constitutional amendments Vetoes State budget Redistricting information Signed copies of bills Statutory revision Texas law timeline Water law timeline Statute publication dates Legislative intent guide
Texas Legislators: Past & Present Governors of Texas Lt. Governors and Speakers Senate Presidents Pro Tempore Senate & House seniority Member statistics Chief Elected Officials Texas legislators on Twitter
Sessions and years Bill statistics Member statistics Bill effective dates Legislative deadlines Session summaries Special sessions Legislative staff lists
Today's meetings Meetings by date Standing committees Committees by session Committee search Legislative reports Committee minutes Standing committee appointments
Library catalog House & Senate Journals House & Senate Rules Parliamentary resources General and Special Laws of Texas Codes of 1856 Paschal's Digest Penal Code revision research guide Code of Criminal Procedure guide Deceptive Trade Practices Act Impeachment of O.P. Carrillo Gubernatorial inauguration materials Water resources research guide School finance litigation archive
Frequently Asked Questions Contacting your legislator Texas bill status State agency hotlines & citizen   assistance Texas legislative agencies &   process Other libraries Public policy resources

LRL Home - Legislation - Legislative History and Intentprinter friendly versionreturn to screen view

Legislative history vs. legislative intent

Before you begin > Legislative history vs. legislative intent > Typical materials > Starting with what you know > Other helpful resources

Legislative history relates to how a bill becomes law, and includes the documents and steps involved in passage. Legislative intent relates to why a bill becomes law, and who proposes ideas or reforms. The primary documents of legislative history can often illustrate legislative intent.

Legislative history Legislative intent
  • Primary documents
    • Bill file
    • Committee reports
    • Bill analyses
    • Bill history
    • Fiscal notes
  • Committee hearings and audio tapes
  • Journals
  • Interim committee reports
  • Who
    • bill author, sponsor in the legislature (a legislator's own words would carry the most weight as to intent)
    • supporters, opposition, witnesses
    • individuals, committees, or organizations that proposed ideas or reforms
  • Why - events, federal involvement
  • News articles, testimony, bill analyses

Next: Typical materials