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Laws and Legislation

Laws - Ohio

Contents

Resources for Legal Research - Ohio
Websites for Legal Research - Ohio
Further Reading

At the State level, the general process of how a bill becomes law is very similar to that on the Federal level.  Bills are the means by which legislation is introduced in the Ohio General Assembly. They are numbered consecutively within the House (H.B.) and Senate (S.B.) starting with 1 at the beginning of each new General Assembly.

Bills may have multiple versions:

Introduced Bill.  The bill as it was introduced in the House or Senate.

Engrossed Bill.   Once a bill has passed the House (or Senate if introduced there) the bill and with all its amendments is printed. This version of the bill is sent to the Senate (or House).

Enrolled Bill.  The version of the bill that is agreed upon by both the House and Senate. This version, also called an Act, is presented to the Governor. 


Resources for Legal Research - Ohio

Acts. Bills approved by both the House and the Senate and ready for the Governor to sign.
Electronic:
Acts. The Ohio Legislature. 1997 - .
Acts.  Ohio General Assembly Archives – Find Acts.  1997- .

Bill Files. Collection of multiple versions of bills, bill analyses, and other materials gathered or compiled by the Legislative Service Commission.
Print:
Ohio History Connection (Formerly the Ohio Historical Society). 1949-.
Electronic:
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)
Search for Legislative Information. Ohio General Assembly Archives. 1997- .

Bills of the Ohio House of Representatives
Print:
Moritz Law Library/OSU Book Depository (KFO6.H68). 1902- .
Ohio History Connection (Formerly the Ohio Historical Society), 1838- . (See also Bill Files)
Electronic:
Bills/Resolutions and Related Documents. Ohio Legislative Service Commission. 1997- .
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)
Search for Legislative Information. Ohio General Assembly Archives. 1997- .

Bills of the Ohio Senate
Print:
Moritz Law Library/OSU Depository (KFO6.S46). 1902- .
Ohio History Connection (Formerly the Ohio Historical Society). 1838- (See also Bill Files)
Electronic:
Bills/Resolutions and Related Documents. Ohio Legislative Service Commission. 1997 - .
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)
Search for Legislative Information. Ohio General Assembly Archives. 1997- .

Bulletin, General Assembly of the State of Ohio.  Lists bills introduced, dates of legislative activity, and references to House and Senate Journals. Includes a subject index.
Print:
Thompson Library (J87 O3 BL).
Moritz Law Library (KFO18 .B85).

Committee Hearings. After being assigned to a committee, most bills (especially House bills), receive at least one public hearing. Usually two or more hearings are held, one for proponents, and one for opponents.  There are no official records of hearings. Summaries of testimonies, beginning with the 116th General Assembly (1985) are included in Bill Files. Summaries also are available via Ohio Capitol Connection beginning with the 118th General Assembly.
Print: See Bill Files
Electronic:
Journals.  Ohio General Assembly Archives - Find Journals.  (House Journal 2003- and the Senate 2005- )
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)

Committee Reports. Committee reports are the means by which committees report their finding to the House or Senate. References to Committee Reports can be found in the House and Senate Journals. Reports issued since 1989 are included in Bill Files. Reports issued prior to 1989 are unavailable.
Print:
See Journal of the House of Representatives
See Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio
Electronic:
Journals.  Ohio General Assembly Archives - Find Journals.  (House Journal 2003- and the Senate 2005- )
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)

Digest of Enactments (1995-present)
Print:
Thompson Library (JK5566 .A34)/Moritz Law Library (KFO15 .L43)
Electronic:
Bills Enacted (by Bill Number). Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)
Digest of Enactments... Ohio Legislative Service Commission.

Journal of the House of Representatives... (Ohio House Journal)  Produced daily when the General Assembly is in session, the House Journal is a procedural account of House activities. The text of floor amendments are included, but not bills, reports, or debates. The Journal is bound at the end of the Assembly. The Bulletin is reprinted in its index.
Print:
Biennial Edition. Thompson Library (J87 .O3 C)/Moritz Law Library (KFO18 .H6).
Electronic:
Daily Edition. Session Journals - Ohio House of Representatives. General Assembly Web Site.  2003- .

Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio. (1808-1972.)  Produced daily when the General Assembly is in session, the Senate Journal is a procedural account of Senate activities. The text of floor amendments are included, but not that of bills, reports, or debates. The Journal is eventually bound with the Bulletin reprinted in its index.
Print:
Biennial Edition. Thompson Library (J87 .O3 B)/Moritz Law Library (KFO18 .S4).

Journals of the Senate and House of Representatives. (1973-1974)  Produced daily when the General Assembly is in session, the Senate Journal is a procedural account of Senate activities. The text of floor amendments are included, but not that of bills, reports, or debates. The Journal is eventually bound with the Bulletin reprinted in its index.
Print:
Biennial Edition. Thompson Library (J87 .O3 B)/Moritz Law Library (KF18 .H6, KFO18 .S4).

LSC Staff reports.  In depth research on selected policy issues.
Print:
Search OSU Catalog by title of report
Legislative Service Commission Library (614-466-2241) request by title of report.
Electronic:
Ohio Capitol Connection - Hannah Online. (Access restricted to OSU Moritz College of Law)
Publications. Legislative Services Commission.

Ohio Senate Journal. (1974- )  Produced daily when the General Assembly is in session, the Senate Journal is a procedural account of Senate activities. The text of floor amendments are included, but not bills, reports, or debates. The Journal is bound with the Bulletin is reprinted in its index.
Print:
Biennial Edition. Moritz Law Library (KFO18 .S4).
Electronic:
Daily Edition. Session Journal - Ohio Senate.  General Assembly Web Site. 2005- .

The Ohio Channel.  Video clips providing unedited coverage of Ohio House of Representative and Senate sessions. Includes debates and votes. Check web site for holdings information. (Note: RealPlayer required to view video clips.)

Status Report of Legislation.
Electronic:
Journals. Ohio General Assembly Web Site.  (House Journal 2003- and the Senate 2005- )
Status Report of Legislation. The Ohio Legislature. 1983- .
Status Reports. Ohio General Assembly Web Site. 1983- .

Summary of Enactments (1957- ).  Annual compilation of condensed versions of Final Analyses of Bills for bills enacted in that year.
Print:
Thompson Library (JK5566 .A34)/Moritz (KFO15 .L43).
Electronic:
Digest of Enactments. Ohio Legislative Service Commission. 1997-.

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Websites for Legal Research - Ohio

Free Websites for Legal Research: Ohio. (Franklin County. Law Library) Links to resources by type, issuing body, etc.

Session Laws Library.  (HeinOnline) Contains inks to statutes for the State of Ohio and other state.  Access restricted to OSU student, faculty, and staff.

U.S. States & Territories - Ohio. (Library of Congress)  Provides links to the Ohio Constitution; executive, judicial, and legislative resources; legal guides and general resources.


Further Reading

A Guidebook for Ohio Legislators. 14th edition. (Ohio Legislative Service Commission) 

How a Bill Becomes a Law. (The Ohio Senate)

Ohio Legal Research.  Sara Sampson, Katherine L. Hall and Carolyn Broering-Jacobs.  Durham, North Carolina:  Carolina Academic Press, 2015.

Ohio Legal Research Guide.  Melanie K. Putnam and Susan M. Schaefgen.   Buffalo, NY:  W.S. Hein, 1997. 

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