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The purpose of this guide is to provide researchers with resources for finding legislative information on the federal and state level.
Because the legislative process can be convoluted at times, it might be useful for researchers to consult one or more of the links below for a basic understanding of how laws are made.
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government: How Laws Are Made
Although aimed at a younger audience, this web site provides a clear, basic outline of the federal legislative process useful to anyone unfamiliar with legal research.
How Our Laws Are Made
A much more detailed explanation of the federal legislative process as supplied by THOMAS, the Library of Congress web site (named after Thomas Jefferson), concerning Congressional information. NOTE: THOMAS has been replaced by Congress.gov but this link on the legislative process is still available.
The Legislative Process
A useful introduction provided by videos and transcripts on the Congress.gov web site.
The legislative process is similar on the state level, generally speaking, to the federal process described in the above web sites, but each state does have its own peculiarities and variations. A directory of state and U.S. territory legislative web sites is provided below. Many, if not most, will have a link explaining the legislative process as it pertains to its state or territory.
Political Science Librarian