Utah State Archives Posts Bill Files from the Utah State Senate

Gina Strack Digital Archives

The Utah State Senate bill files from the first one hundred years of statehood are now available online from the Utah State Archives and Records Service. These working bill files may include multiple drafts, committee assignments or other revisions made during the legislative process.

The Senate’s Working bill files from 1896 to 1989 are the newest additions the Utah State Digital Archives. Covering 66 biennial, annual and special sessions, there are over 163,000 pages. In conjunction with bill files that have been put online by the Legislature since 1990, researchers and others interested in tracing a bill’s history can now access a complete record online from anywhere at any time. All Senate bills now also have a full text search.

Bill, in the broad sense, refers to bills, resolutions, memorials, etc. In the narrow sense, bills consist of those documents which a member of the Legislature desires to have made into a Utah law. A bill normally consists of at least its designated number, a title, an enacting clause, and the main text. Sponsor names appear on the face of the bill. Senate bills are introduced on the floor of the Senate and go through three readings before passage. In the process they are referred to one or more committees. The committee reports back with the recommendation that the bill be passed, amended, or rejected. A bill may also be amended on the floor at certain stages. If the bill passes the Senate after a third reading, it goes to the House where it goes through a similar procedure before returning to the Senate for acceptance of any amendments and is sent to the Governor.

The Utah State Digital Archives provides over half a million images of historical records online and free to the public, including death certificates from 1904-1958. With worldwide online access, patrons have the ability to do research from anywhere while the State Archives efficiently fulfills its mission “to provide quality access to public information.”