Searching Legislative History

One of the most common requests we get at the State of Arizona Research Library is how to research the legislative history of a particular law. How did it come into existence? Who originally came up with the idea for the law? How long did it take to pass? When did it pass? And has it changed since that time?

Our amazing law librarian has come up with this helpful “cheat sheet” of information on how to perform a legislative history. Use it, print it, share it all you like. If you still find yourself stuck or can’t find it online, contact us! We have a lot more material in our physical collection that may be helpful as well.

journal of the house

How To Start

Find the statute in the print Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) annotated or an annotated online source. Look for “added by” for the 1st time it was enacted. If it says “amended by,” there’s an earlier enactment. Look for it in the superseded A.R.S.

Determine the Year

Is it Before 1997? 

  1. Find the Session Laws. Session Laws are the enacted version of the legislation. Jot down the bill number, found after the chapter number.
  2. Check the bill file. The State of Arizona Research Library has these bill files on microfilm:
  • Senate bills between 1969 and 1990.
  • House bills between 1971 and 1994.
  • After those dates but before 1997, call the Clerk of the House of Representatives at 602-926-3032 or the Senate Resource Center at 602-926-3559.

Before the late 1960’s, the bill file probably doesn’t exist, as most were destroyed in a flood. Your issue may be in the History of the Arizona State Legislature 1912-1967 which included an analysis of major issues, debate, & news coverage by session. It is now on microfiche in the Reading Room but soon it will be digitized! Thank you, Library Services and Technology Act!

  1. Use the bill number to check Journals from the Arizona House and Senate. Start by finding the bill number in the index at the end of the volume. Then check each cited page for legislative process and committees that heard the bill. Journals may have text of amendments, floor speeches, & conference committee info. There will be different information in the Journal of each chamber, so be sure to check both!

 

Is it 1989 – 1997?

  1. Go to the Arizona Legislature website. Enter the bill number into the search box at top right. You won’t find everything you need, but it’s a convenient source to get started.
  2. Next, refer to before-1997 steps above.

 

Is it 1997 or more current?

  1. Find the Session Law from the Arizona Legislature website. Set the Year and Session using the yellow drop-down menu at the top. Scroll down to Chapter number. Jot down the bill number.
  2. Use the bill tracker from the Arizona Legislature website. Set the correct Year and Session. Enter the 4-digit bill number in search box at the top right. The titles in the blue bar close to the top are links to more information.
  3. For committee minutes, jot down committees & dates. Go to Agendas on the left-hand side of the page. Choose Senate or House & select the Committee. Click on the meeting date. Click the blue Committee Minutes link.
  4. To search topics, try “search” on the left-hand side and use keywords.
  5. Check for interim, special, or study committee reports. Look for some more Legislative Study Committee Reports in our State Documents Collection on the Arizona Memory Project (link does not reflect a complete search of Legislative Committees).

 

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

microfilm2Journals may have info on interim, special, & study committees. Check current year and a year or two before. Search our State Documents Collection for Committee reports.

The State of Arizona Archives has some minutes filed by House committees between 1965 and 2016. Jot down the name of committees & meeting dates, then call them at 602-926-3720 or fill out a research request form.

We have numerous newspapers on microfilm, including the Capitol Times & its predecessors. Important and controversial issues of the day often appeared in the news.

To view print material, you can visit us in the Reading Room of the Polly Rosenbaum History and Archives Building located at 1901 W. Madison in Phoenix. We are open Monday through Friday, except on state holidays.

polly-building-at-sunset-crp2

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We’re Having an FDLP Anniversary!

On December 19th, 1963, Senators Carl Hayden and Barry Goldwater designated the State of Arizona Research Library as a regional Federal Depository Library for the state of Arizona.

A Federal Depository Library is a library that has agreed to make U.S. government information available to the public. There are more than 1100 of these libraries that make up a national network, and 11 of them are in Arizona. This map will show you the location of all of the Federal Depositories in the United States, including the ones right here in Arizona.

fdlp logo

What kinds of things count as “government information”?

We collect federal agency publications from more than 100 agencies across all three branches of government. You can find everything from Supreme Court opinions to Congressional hearings to topographic maps of the White Mountains here at the library. Whenever the Census Bureau releases new data, or NASA publishes a new study of Mars, these materials join nearly 200 years of history in our Federal Documents Collection.

Our collection is made up of many formats. Most of our items are in print, which includes books, newsletters, pamphlets, and Braille books. We also have maps, microfiche and microfilm, CDs and DVDs, kits, posters, calendars, and even puzzles!

Libraries in the United States have been collecting government information and making it available to Americans for almost as long as the country has existed. In 1813, Congress began distributing official publications to libraries, and in 1895 formally established the Federal Depository Library Program or FDLP. Thus libraries all over the nation were called to action to ensure the people could learn about their government.

The Territorial Library of Arizona was established in 1864 in Prescott, the Territorial Capitol at the time. The earliest library catalog we have is from 1865. This excerpt from the handwritten list of books in the library shows that we were collecting federal publications at least that early – the Territorial Library included the full Eighth U.S. Census, Smithsonian Institution publications, and reports of the Department of Agriculture, Indian Bureau, and Land Office:

S.T.A.R.L. Library catalog from 1865

In 1962, a major change was made to the Federal Depository Library Program. With the Depository Library Act of 1962, up to two libraries in each state could be designated as Regional Depository Libraries. These libraries would be responsible for maintaining complete collections of government publications, and providing services to the other depository libraries in their state, with the goal of ensuring that everyone in their state was able to access government information easily. In 1963, both the Arizona Department of Library and Archives (later to become the State of Arizona Research Library) and the University of Arizona were jointly designated as regional depository libraries by our two Senators at the time, Carl Hayden and Barry Goldwater.

Hayden-Goldwater designation of the Arizona Department of Library and Archives and U of A library as Regional Depository Libraries- 1963

 

unamerican

Publications we received in 1963 include “Effects of drought in the Colorado River Basin,” “Damage to livestock from radioactive fallout in event of nuclear war,” and hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities.

The University of Arizona library is no longer a regional depository library, but it is still in the FDLP, along with 10 other libraries in Arizona. As the sole remaining Regional, the State of Arizona Research Library serves as a statewide hub for U.S. government information and provides services to the other depository libraries and to the public.

 

Want more information?

Check out this short history of the FDLP: Fulfilling Madison’s Vision – the Federal Depository Library Program.

Coming soon: a timeline of the history of the State of Arizona Research Library as a Federal Depository Library!

Arizona Legislature Lingo and Abbreviations

3rd Read? Do pass? COW?

What’s really going on at the Legislature?

25th Territorial Legislature Council

The Arizona Legislature has its own lingo and abbreviations. Here is a flow chart we find helpful to track legislation and understand what’s going on during the legislative session and with the introduced bills.

Remember, we have a treasure trove of materials on legislation – including Session Laws from before Statehood, Journals of legislative action for both the House and Senate, introduced bills, and many years of bill files. Contact us for research help!

Arizona State Legislature in session

Legislative process and abbreviations

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Box 6

Box 7

Box 8

Box 9

Makes sense, right!? This flow chart is a little more advanced than the Schoolhouse Rock “I’m Just a Bill” clip we learned legislative process from as kids!

Here are a few more pictures of our State legislators and staff in action through the years, completing the process outlined above!

Leg2
Secretaries or attaches for the Arizona State Legislature
Leg4
Arizona State Legislature in session
leg5
Members of the 1912, First State Legislature
leg6
Legislature in session in the Arizona State Capitol

 

You’re Under Citizen’s Arrest!

Wait, is citizen’s arrest really a thing??

Well, yes. But be careful with that…

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-3884 states:

13-3884. Arrest by private person

A private person may make an arrest:

  1. When the person to be arrested has in his presence committed a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the peace, or a felony.
  2. When a felony has been in fact committed and he has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed it.

So it has to be a misdemeanor that breached the peace or a felony and you know who did it.

I.W.W. Deportations 1917 “Striker Resisting Arrest”

A.R.S. §3889 requires you to announce the arrest…unless you don’t have to:

13-3889. Method of arrest by private person

A private person when making an arrest shall inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest him and the cause of the arrest, unless he is then engaged in the commission of an offense, or is pursued immediately after its commission or after an escape, or flees or forcibly resists before the person making the arrest has opportunity so to inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest.

Photograph of the fingerprints of Ernesto Miranda from his booking sheet, Phoenix Police, Phoenix (Ariz.)

Clear enough?
No. Not at all.

There’s more:

13-3900. Duty of private person after making arrest

A private person who has made an arrest shall without unnecessary delay take the person arrested before the nearest or most accessible magistrate in the county in which the arrest was made, or deliver him to a peace officer, who shall without unnecessary delay take him before such magistrate. The private person or officer so taking the person arrested before the magistrate shall make before the magistrate a complaint, which shall set forth the facts showing the offense for which the person was arrested. If, however, the officer cannot make the complaint, the private person who delivered the person arrested to the officer shall accompany the officer before the magistrate and shall make to the magistrate the complaint against the person arrested.

Photograph of a group of prisoners in striped uniforms at the Arizona State Prison in Florence (Ariz.)

So, next you need to take the person you arrested to an officer and explain what happened. Then, you need to explain it to the judge. Apparently you shouldn’t make a citizen’s arrest if you’re in a hurry.

Arizona Code 1939

Or angry.

The Arizona Attorney General interpreted the provisions in Attorney General Opinion I85-048. It concluded that a citizen making an arrest could be charged with a crime or be sued for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, negligence, and violation of civil rights. The opinion notes that the provisions have been applied to the actions of security guards and law enforcement outside their jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, the provisions remain a part of Arizona law, where they’ve been since 1939 (Arizona Code §44-125). It seems that this law isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

 

Christmas Through The Years in Arizona

How Arizona has celebrated Christmas tells us as much about our state history as it does the holiday’s more universal symbols. A quick tour through our historic newspapers finds stories of church, trees, masquerades, gifts, Santa Claus, and cheer happening in ways that could only take place in our state.

 

Christmas 1920
Bisbee Daily Review, 1920-12-15, CHRISTMAS EDITION

The Weekly Arizona Miner-Prescott-1878

140 years ago, Prescott chronicled a visit from Santa Clause, with gifts for between two and three hundred children. “Some of the older ones also received valuable presents and immediately forgot their childhood days were things of the past,” the Miner reported. The 12th Infantry Band provided music. Among these celebrations, the paper also noted a soldier “partaking of the good things generally yesterday , including egg-nog and perhaps something stronger in the line of ‘O be Joyful’”. He later mistook a private residence for Ft. Whipple and demanded entry.

Salt River Herald-Salt River Valley-1878

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, the Salt River Herald reported on the Christmas tree at public schools, crowded church services, private parties, and turkey shoots and horse races. A ball took place at Smith & Stroud’s hall.

Christmas 1913
Arizona Republican 1913-12-25

Arizona Weekly Citizen-Tucson-1888

Ten years later, the Arizona Citizen in Tucson noted their city celebrated “appropriately”, detailing local church celebrations as well as a gathering of the Southern Pacific Library Association at the Masonic hall, with gas lamps dimmed to let the tree’s lit candles flicker.

The Argus-Holbrook-1898

120 years Holbrook saw a masquerade ball by both adults and children. The Argus reported on two masquerade balls. The children’s party lasted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “The little folks were attired in a variety of costumes, some beautiful, and some very ludicrous.”  The “fun ran high” until 9 p.m. Later, in the same hall, a party for the adults began at 11 and continued with dancing until 3 a.m.

Christmas 1915
Arizona Republican, 1915-12-25

 

Arizona Republican-Phoenix-1898

At the same time, if you wanted to do some shopping for the holidays in Phoenix, you could do so at the New York Store. If the name is unfamiliar, note that it was run by Sam Korrick and would be Korrick’s shortly thereafter.

Arizona Republican-Phoenix-1918

Overindulging in the holidays had not ceased when the Republican reported three men “wrapped in the arms of Bacchus” narrowly escaped a building burning in 1898. The fire, in the back of a shoe shop at 13 Wall Street, was probably caused by a lit cigarette. The men got rescued, the  fire put out, and the paper noted cause and consequence: “… their condition was due to potent libations they had consumed in an heroic endeavor to usher in the Yuletide in a fitting and proper manner. They will be arraigned in the city court this afternoon.”

Bisbee Daily Review, 1915-12-19, CHRISTMAS EDITION

 

 

 

Researching the Old Legal Stuff

YaleWe recently purchased The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History, a new resource to help you find historical legal information that is very specialized or pre-dates the information that is readily available online. Some of the resources are digitized, and some only in print. It is available to use in the Reading Room at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building.

For example, if you are looking for the laws on witchcraft, this source tells you step-by-step how to find them. Witchcraft was originally designated as a felony in the United Kingdom and carried the death penalty. Later revisions passed by Queen Elizabeth I reduced the severity of the penalty if nobody got hurt. This change enabled herbalists to practice their craft. Maybe this was the origin of the No Harm, No Foul standard.

Yale TOC

Later chapters address later eras. Apparently practice manuals were widely used in the Colonial era by justices, officials, and educated citizens. Some states had constitutions that predated the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and this reference has information on both, as well information on how to access statutes and cases from the early days of the Republic. Later chapters explain how the Reporter system for publishing case law was a pioneering innovation, how to do archival research, searching administrative law, and the advent of legal forms.

 

DictionariesAnother chapter discusses how international law and treaties affect U.S. law. Another introduces the use of dictionaries and biographical sources. The book concludes with tips for researching newspapers, statistical resources, and public records.

If you don’t know where to find the historical legal topic you are researching, we may just look here first!

Become a Dentist, Avoid Jury Duty!

Well, not anymore. It was true in 1913, though. Section 4766 of the 1913 Civil Code stated:

dentist 1913

 

The exemption did not apply to medical doctors or optometrists, who were also regulated by the 1913 Code. However, Section 4810 made pharmacists exempt from jury Dentist 1duty too.

Although the provisions regulating dentistry were amended multiple times, the jury duty exemption didn’t appear again. The legislative practice at the time seems to have been to repeal entire articles and adopt new language rather than amend existing laws. That’s what happened at Laws 1929, Chapter 11 (pp. 23-32 {81-90}) and again at Laws 1935, Chapter 24 (pp. 42-57 {102-117}).

The pharmacists still had their exemption in 1935 (Laws 1935, Chapter 25, §23 {p. 87 [147]}), in 1951 (Laws 1951, Chapter 73 {pp. 172-195 [220-243]}), and in the 1952 Supplement to the 1939 Code (Section 67-1524), but it disappeared when the Arizona Revised Statutes was compiled in 1956 and the provisions governing pharmacists were renumbered to appear where they do now, starting at A.R.S. §§32-1901. You can read the Session Laws and the Journals that record legislative action here.

dentist 2Dentists are now regulated by the Board of Dental Examiners. The statutes start at Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-1201. In addition, regulatory rules add details to the licensing procedure and include other professions related to dentistry.

As you can see from these old ads from the 1955-1956 Arizona Dental Journal, dentistry has changed a lot. You can see some of those changes by viewing the regulations from 1974 in our collection, the Substantive Policy Statements from the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners, and the Procedural Reviews from the Arizona Office of the Auditor General.