District of Columbia Resources

This State Guide provides an in-depth look at sources of law within the District of Columbia.

Compiling a Legislative History

Unlike Federal legislative history documents, D.C. legislative history documents are not widely available. In any version of the D.C. Code, at the end of each code section, there is a citation to the District of Columbia Register for the text of the Act; there is also a legislative history notes section which gives you the Bill, Act, and Law numbers, which are useful for retrieving the full text of the bill and other legislative history documents. The Official Code (and the Westlaw version) also tells you the committee to which the bill was referred.

Compiled Legislative Histories Collection (D.C. Courts Libraries): PDFs not yet available (as of July 2023), but search for the title and email DC Court Libraries' Ask a Librarian to request the file. Collection begins post-Home Rule, with DC Law 1-1.

Legislative History Documents include:

  • The Bill as introduced, the version of the bill adopted by the Standing committee, the version adopted on the First Reading, the version adopted by final vote, and the purpose and background of the bill. See Where to Find Bills and Bill Information page in this guide.
  • Committee Reports: Committee Reports are not prepared for every piece of legislation.
  • Committee and Public Hearings:
    • On Demand Video (OCT TV 13): Videos of meetings and hearings from  2015 to present are available on the site. Videos from 2003 through 2014 are available upon request; email requests to entertainment@dc.gov and include the date and committee name in your request.
    • Legislative Services Division: Telephone: 202-724-8050: Maintains tapes of hearings from 1975 to the present. Hearings are not transcribed. To request the tapes, you must submit a memo stating the name of the Committee and the date the hearing was held. You must also provide the appropriate number of 120-minute cassette tapes.
      • Committee and Public Hearing Files: Every committee maintains a file on every action item taken by the committee, including the public hearing witness list, public testimony and correspondence received, government testimony, amendments, and the committee vote.
  • Legislative Meeting Transcripts:
    • Legislative Services Division: Telephone: 202-724-8050.

For historical legislation and analysis search for the Making of Modern Law Historical Legislation: District of Columbia collection in our catalog.

More Legislative History Information

In Lexis, full-text bills, advance legislative service, and legislative bill history may be found in Statutes and Legislation. It also offers an Archived Code Search.

In Westlaw, search also state legislative historystatutes annotated - historicalbill trackingbill tracking historical, and proposed & enacted legislation.

In Bloomberg Law, text of enacted legislation may be found through State Laws & Regulations.

LLMC Digital may contain digitized historical senate and house journals as well as historical state statutes and/or session laws (Online Services > Browse Collections > U.S. States and Territories > State Name > Legislative).

State Legislative Sourcebook (in print, Call Number: Reference Desk JK2495 .S689), though ceased in 2021, is a 50-state guide on legislative information resources. In addition to providing the location of a state's legislative documents, it also includes sources for tracking services, document mailing services and best live person initial contact.