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Tax Law Research : Federal and Ohio: Legislative History

Persuasive Authority of Legislative History Documents

Courts may or may not rely upon the legislative history documents. In Ohio, legislative history documents are not "of record", unlike federal legislative history, so they are not required to be retained. The weight given by courts to various types of legislative history documents is discussed with the Types of Legislative History of this guide. For more info see OJur3d Statutes, Sections 165-168.

Ohio Legislative History on Westlaw


The Ohio Legislative History database on Westlaw contains: Bill Analyses beginning in 1997-1998 through current session, Committee Synopses beginning in 2001-2002 through current session, Conference Committee Synopses beginning in 2001-2002 through current session, House Journals beginning in 2003-2004 through current session, Senate Journals beginning in 2005-2006 through current session, Governor's Messages beginning in 2000 through 2010 session, Bill Tracking: Summaries and status information concerning current OH legislation, Fiscal Notes, Committee Reports and Veto Messages from Netscan legislative history.

What is Legislative History?

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. 

To 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.

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

Other LibGuides

Legislative History Documents - Ohio & Federal Compared

The links go to where these documents are available on the free web.  For information on how to find older documents and Lexis/Westlaw links, see Types of Legislative History Documents page in this guide.

Legislative Process Federal Ohio
Bill Introduced Bill Bill
Committee holds hearing Committee Prints (research reports) Committee Testimony is available with the Legislation search at the General Assembly
Committee recommends legislation House/Senate Reports Status Reports of Legislation
Debates and Votes

Congressional Record - debates

House/Senate Votes

The Ohio Channel - debates

House/Senate Journals - votes

Amended bill sent to conference committee Conference Report

Search for committee activity by the name of the bill at the Ohio General Assembly website


Bill Becomes Law

Slip Law

United States Statutes at Large

US Code

Laws of Ohio (session laws)

Ohio Revised Code

Veto Message

Congressional Record

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

Governor’s Messages