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Arizona Legislative History: A Step-By-Step Guide

Three Steps for Legislative History Research on Westlaw

Step One:

Begin with the statute to be searched

  • Locate the statute in AZ-ST-ANN. Example: A.R.S. 33-405 on beneficiary deeds.

Step Two:

Select “Reports and Related Materials” under “Legislative History” 

  • “Reports” for a particular bill appear in reverse chronological order for House and Senate. The “Bill Summary” provides the initial text and identifies the Committee assigned to study the legislation.  Other materials include “Committee minutes,” date of passage by Rules Committee (no substantive information), the bill as presented to the whole legislative body, and “Fact Sheets.” A “Bill Summary,” “Bill Status Report,” dates of transmission of the legislation and signing by the Governor, Chapter number, and the bill version enacted are usually provided.

Step Three:

Check "Citing References"

  • Review for cases interpreting the statute, as well as for law review and journal articles discussing the enacted legislation.

Scope, Advantages, and Disadvantages of Legislative History Research on Westlaw


Legislative history for laws enacted 2000 to date (from 44th Legislature 2nd Regular Session) is available on Westlaw. In addition to Bill Summaries and Bill Status Reports, there are House and Senate Committee Minutes, and Fact Sheets that accompany the engrossed bill sent to the Governor for signature.


One advantage to using Westlaw for locating legislative history information is that only relevant portions of Committee minutes pertaining to a particular bill are displayed, as opposed to  complete minutes on the legislature’s website. Checking “Citing References” for a statute can provide secondary sources quickly, such as law review and journal articles, and links to case law are handy.


One disadvantage is that important relevant materials may be overlooked by Westlaw editors, and not be included. Attachments of materials and Special Reports are not included (available in print from the House and Senate offices). For thoroughness, conduct a search on the legislature’s website, also