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Oregon Legislative History Research: Step 5. Locate the Minutes and Exhibits

Committee Minutes: Summaries & Logs

Not all committee discussions will address the specific topic that interests the legislative history researcher, especially if the bill is long and covers many areas (e.g., a revision of the criminal law). To pinpoint when a particular topic was discussed on an audio tape, minute summaries (later known as tape logs) were created: they provided a brief description of the discussion. In theory, they permitted the researcher to save time by sorting through all the discussions and ordering only those audio tapes, or listening to only those mp3 files, that covered the relevant issue. However, in reality, the minute summaries/tape logs varied greatly in detail and length, and in 2007/2009 they were abandoned and replaced by the audio log, listing only the speaker's name and the recorded time.  

Minute Summaries/Tape Logs: To determine at what point in the committee's work session or hearing your bill was discussed, use the Minute Summaries on microfilm (in our library) from 1961 to 1989, and online from 1991(partial) to 2005. The Minute Summaries are arranged by year, then by House, Senate or Joint Committee, followed by an alphabetical list of the committee names with the minutes listed chronologically under each committee.

Boley Law Library Microfilm - Ask for help at the Library Desk

  • 1947-1959:  Some committee minute summaries included
  • 1961-1995:  All committees have minutes summaries

Online Minute Summaries and Tape Logs

Audio Logs: Logs of committee speakers without summarization of discussions

 

Example: Viewing Minutes of the Work Session for 2001 SB 133

To view the Tape Log for the House Judiciary Committee's Work Session held on May 29, 2001 (found in Step 4):

  1. Go to the Oregon State Archives website for the Online Tape Logs and select the 2001 Regular Session.
  2. Scroll down through the House Committees, clicking on the Judiciary Full Committee link, then the Audio Log link.
  3. Click on the date: May 29, 2001 and then download the file from the subsequent page.

The file opens with a pdf version of the minute summary.

  • SB133A is listed as the last item on the agenda.
  • The discussion of the vehicle assault amendment to the bill (A-9), is near the end of the document.
  • Note the Tape number (77) and the minute counters. This information helps locate the verbatim discussion on a cassette tape purchased from the archives. Fortunately, the online Audio link is available for this work session so no need to order the tape.

Committee Recordings: Audio & Visual

Recordings of Committee hearings and work sessions are available from 1957 to the present, in a variety of formats: reel to reel, dictation tapes, cassettes, mp3 files, and online digital audio and video recordings.

Reel to Reel, Dictation & Cassette Tapes

MP3 & Digital Audio

  • 1999 - 2014: Online audio files

Oregon State Archives: audio files arranged by session, committee, date

Oregon State Legislature: link to "Meeting Archives" on bottom right of page. Audio files arranged in reverse chronological order

Online video and audio

  • 2015 - Present: Online video files with log on same screen. Search box for words/names appearing in log, not entire video

Oregon State Legislature, Legislative Audio Visual: Search box for words/names in log, not video; link to "Meeting Archives" on bottom right of page. Audio files arranged in reverse chronological order. 

Oregon State Legislature, Previous Session Bills: Search by bill number within session year; click on link under "Measure History" then meeting date/time on right.

 

 

Example: Listening to the Work Session for 2001 SB 133

To listen to the audio of the House Judiciary Committee's Work Session on May 29th, 2001:

  1. Return to the Oregon State Archives website shown above and click on "Audio."
  2. Click on the date, May 29, 2001, which opens a new page.
  3. Download the MP3 file to listen to the Work Session.

Committee Exhibits

Exhibits are submitted by legislators, committee staff, and citizens in support of or in opposition to a proposed bill and include written testimony given at a hearing, news articles, letters, and proposed amendments.

Boley Law Library Microfilm - In some years the exhibits will follow the minute summaries of a particular bill hearing, while in other years, the exhibits will be arranged by bill number on a separate reel that only includes exhibits.

  • 1955-1959: Some committees have exhibits
  • 1961-1995: All committees have exhibits included

Oregon State Archives

Online Exhibits - Some exhibits are available at the Oregon Legislature website, organized by session and bill number. Look for the Meeting Materials/Exhibits tab at the top of the page.

Example: Locating Exhibits to the Work Session for 2001 SB 133

In the 2001 Regular Session, the Exhibits were listed at the end of the Tape Logs. Unfortunately, theses exhibits are only available at the Oregon State Archives. Contact information and fees are linked here.

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