Legislative Bills and Resolutions Filed (General and Special Laws), 1836-2013

Texas Secretary of State, Government Filings Section:

An Inventory of Secretary of State Legislative Bills and Resolutions Filed (General and Special Laws) at the Texas State Archives, 1836-2013

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials

Secretary of State Legislative Bills and Resolutions FiledOverview

Creator: Texas. Secretary of State. Government Filings Section.
Title: Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and special laws)
Dates: 1836-2013
Abstract: Since 1837, Texas law has required the Secretary of State to contract for the printing of the laws, and to arrange for their distribution. Since 1846, Texas law has required the Secretary of State to receive bills from the Texas Legislature which have become laws, and to bind and maintain such bills and enrolled joint resolutions; and also to deliver a certified copy of these laws (with indices) to the public printer. These records are the official, final, signed copies of legislative bills and resolutions (general and special laws) passed by the Congress of the Republic of Texas and the Legislature of the State of Texas, and subsequently filed with the Texas Secretary of State. These contain the original signatures of all officials (President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Chief Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate, and Texas President/Governor). They date 1836-2013. Also included (as they became required by law) are fiscal notes, criminal justice policy impact statements, actuarial impact statements, and other kinds of impact statements, through 1999. Included at or near the end of each session’s laws and resolutions are the vetoed bills and resolutions. Vetoed bills and resolutions include the signed proclamation by the Governor explaining the veto.
Quantity: 269.67 cubic ft. (originals), 22 reels microfilm (duplicates)
Language: English
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: The preparation and digitization of this collection for online public access was funded in full or in part with a Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. ยง 9121) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Click here to enter the records


Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records referenced in this finding aid is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/30019/tsl-30019.html.


Organization of the Records

These records are arranged by State Archives staff chronologically, by congressional/legislative session. The Secretary of State arranged each volume numerically by chapter (which is also chronologically in the order in which the laws were passed). Vetoed laws and resolutions are at the end of each legislative session. Only those records available in the Texas Digital Archive are listed below:

Republic of Texas

State of Texas

Please see the finding aid on TARO (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/30019/tsl-30019.html) for details on how to access paper-based materials.


Agency History

The Business and Public Filings Division (formerly called the Statutory Filings Division) consists of three different sections (Corporations, Government Filings (including the Texas Register), and Uniform Commercial Code Sections), and assists the secretary in most of his/her duties not related to elections.

The Government Filings Section (formerly Statutory Documents Section) records the charters of home rule cities; files amendments of charters of incorporated towns and villages; appoints, reappoints, and commissions all notaries public for the state (since 1940); files bonds or copies of bonds for state officers and state employees, members of governing bodies of certain constitutionally authorized political subdivisions, and general law districts; files the constitutional statement of bribery; issues cards to all labor organizers in the state; files labor union annual reports; registers business opportunity sellers in Texas; registers health spas, athlete agents, and credit service organizations; licenses and regulates automobile clubs; files deeds of cession; etc.

An act approved December 18, 1837 (and later acts) required the Secretary of State to contract for the printing of the laws of the Republic of Texas, and to arrange for their distribution; this function may have necessitated the compilation of an official manuscript copy of the laws. At any rate, an act approved by the 1st Legislature on May 9, 1846 required the Secretary of State to attend every legislative session to receive bills which have become laws, and to bind and maintain such bills and enrolled joint resolutions in the office of the Secretary of State; and also to deliver a certified copy of these laws (with indices and marginal notes) to the public printer, and to edit and correct them after printing. Furthermore, an act of December 14, 1863 made the Secretary of State “the custodian of the records of the Senate and House of Representatives.”

(Click here to view the general agency history for the Secretary of State)


Scope and Content of the Records

Since 1837, Texas law has required the Secretary of State to contract for the printing of the laws, and to arrange for their distribution. Since 1846, Texas law has required the Secretary of State to receive bills from the Texas Legislature which have become laws, and to bind and maintain such bills and enrolled joint resolutions; and also to deliver a certified copy of these laws (with indices) to the public printer. These records are the official, final, signed copies of legislative bills and resolutions (general and special laws) passed by the Congress of the Republic of Texas and the Legislature of the State of Texas, and subsequently filed with the Texas Secretary of State. These contain the original signatures of all officials (President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Chief Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate, and Texas President/Governor). They date 1836-2013. The earlier volumes (1836-1911) are handwritten fair copies, replaced by typewritten copies in 1913. Also included (as they became required by law to be created by the legislature) are fiscal notes, criminal justice policy impact statements, actuarial impact statements, and other kinds of impact statements. These impact statements are excluded from the bound volumes beginning with the 77th Legislature (2001); but they can be found in the original bill files (currently located in the Legislative Reference Library).

Included at or near the end of each session’s laws and resolutions are the vetoed bills and resolutions. Vetoed bills and resolutions include the signed proclamation by the Governor explaining the veto.

As early as 1923, indexes of the bills, arranged by bill number (e.g. House Bill 1, Senate Bill 99) were inserted loosely into some volumes; by 1939 these indexes were bound into the front of each volume.

Legislative bills and resolutions filed (general and special laws) are created as the official copy of the bills and resolutions passed into law by the Congress/Legislature, and signed (or vetoed) by the Governor. They are essentially the manuscript copies of what is subsequently published (and certified by the Secretary of State) as the General and Special Laws of Texas (a.k.a. Session Laws).


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on access
Early volumes (1st Congress through the 18th Legislature) are restricted due to their physical condition. For records not held in the Texas Digital Archive, a researcher must use the microfilmed copies of those volumes.

Restrictions on use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements
For records requiring microfilm access, microfilm readers are available in the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building.


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Legislature, Bill files, 1836-1972, 482.35 cubic ft.
Legislative Reference Library
Texas Legislature, Bill files, 1973-present, [unknown quantity]
Publications
Laws of the Republic of Texas in Two Volumes. Printed by Order of the Secretary of State. Houston, Office of the Telegraph, 1838. [etc., various printers, until 1844]
Laws Passed by the Eighth Congress of the Republic of Texas. Published by Authority. Cruger & Moore, Public Printers, 1844.
Laws Passed by the First Legislature of the State of Texas. Published by Authority. Austin, Ford & Cronican, Public Printers, 1846. [etc., various printers]
General Laws [or Special Laws or General and Special Laws] of the State of Texas Passed by the [___] Legislature… Printed under the Authority of the State of Texas, [___] Secretary of State. [dropped names of printers beginning 1923]
Gammel, H. P. N. (comp. and arr.), Laws of Texas, Austin, the Gammel Book Company, 1898, Volumes 1-10 (1822-1897) [available online at http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/lawsoftexas/]. Also Supplement Volumes 11-17 (1897-1917).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and Special Laws). Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1941/004, 1954/041, 1972/144, 1979/008, 1984/001, 1985/041, 1993/010, 1994/123, 1996/062, 1998/088, 2000/161, 2002/105, 2003/171, 2007/039, 2008/130, 2009/097, 2010/131, 2014/043, 2015/110

These records were transferred to the Texas State Archives by the Secretary of State on March 4, 1942; December 10, 1954; and May 16, 1972; by the Administrative Division of the Secretary of State on September 25, 1978; by the Statutory Documents Section of the Secretary of State on September 1, 1983; December 3, 1984; September 24, 1992; July 8, 1994; February 23, 1996; February 27, 1998; June 13, 2000; February 7, 2002; June 19, 2003; October 13, 2006; April 16, 2008; February 18, 2009; and August 19, 2010; and by the Government Filings Section of the Secretary of State on November 18, 2013; and February 4, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff, unknown dates. The list of these records was placed with the records of the Legislature by Archives staff, July 1983. New accessions added to Legislative finding aid (where previous accessions are listed) by Paul Beck, October 1993 and July 1994. New accessions added to Legislative finding aid by Lisa M. Hendricks, February 1996 and February 1998. All later processing completed by Tony Black. Additions are transferred to the Texas State Archives, usually on a biennial basis.