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Cost-Effective Electronic Legal Research: Hannah News Service

Hannah News Service is a database that is available in the Franklin County Law Library. It has Ohio Legislative History from 1989 - present, including testimony on prior bills, which is useful for determining legislative intent. It also provides current Ohio bill tracking,

 

Sometimes the meaning of a statute is unclear. Legislative history documents may shed light on what the General Assembly intended when they passed legislation (legislative intent). Legislative history documents are materials issued when the bill was going through the legislative process. A Guide to Legislative History in Ohio is a good source from the Ohio Legislative Services Commission.

hannah news logoTo identify legislative history documents for a particular Ohio Revised Code section, look at the History/Credits underneath the text of the statute in an annotated code.  Identify the Act (Session Law) you are interested in.

QUICK FIX:
If the Act was passed 1989 or later, a great place to start is Hannah (Ohio) Capitol Connection, available in the Franklin County Law Library Computer Labs.  For Acts 1997 and later, the Ohio General Assembly's webpage has many documents accessible.  The main legislative history documents in Ohio are bills and Session Laws, and Legislative Service Commission Analysis.

For more details, see additional pages in this guide:

Steps for Finding Legislative History

Types of Legislative History Documents

Prior versions of the bill and amendments made to the bill during the legislative process may shed light on legislative intent. For bill sources, go to: the Bills and Bill Tracking page of this guide.

Cases holding that the legislature's later insertion or deletion of language in later versions of the bill may show legislative intent: Caldwell v. State,(1926), 115 Ohio St. 458 ; Katz v. Department of Liquor Control of Ohio,(1957) 166 Ohio St. 229.