Consult an annotated code such as the O.C.G.A. to identify relevant session laws
Following the text of each statute, you'll find references to the statute's session laws. Session law citations will appear in the following format: Ga. L. 1985, p. 1331, § 4.
Review the text of the session laws
Session laws are all the laws from a given legislative session in the order in which they were passed, and they include special and private acts that never become part of the codified laws.
Often, a bill's preamble will include a statement of purpose. You'll also want to compare versions of the statute if it has been amended
- Acts and resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, KFG25 .A2, Main Floor, 1870 - present
- Heinonline, 1735-2013
- Georgia Legislative Documents, http://www.galileo.usg.edu/express?link=zlgl, 1799-1999.
Consult the GSU Law Review's "Peach Pages"
The Georgia State University Law Review reviews selected Georgia legislation in its fall issues. You can easily spot the fall issue because the actual color of the pages is peach. The "Peach Pages" include analysis of the bills, relevant floor debate, personal interviews, and newspaper articles.
Check Lexis or Westlaw's legislative history databases
- Westlaw - GA-LH - bill histories, amendments, vote records, daily reports, weekly reports, news releases and governor's messages. Coverage varies by document type but generally documents from 2000 - to present are included.
- Lexis - Georgia Legislative Bill History - Bill analyses, governor's messages, committee reports, fiscal messages and summary amendments. Coverage varies by document type but generally documents from 2000 - to present are included.
Review the Georgia House and Senate Journals
The Journals contain little valuable legislative history. The bill text is not in the Journals, but text of amendments is included. They also contain votes, committee actions, amendments, and sponsors.
- Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, KFG18 .A25, 2nd Floor, Law Library Annex, 1834 - present
- Journal of the Senate of the State of Georgia, KFG18 .A26, 2nd Floor, Law Library Annex, 1810 - present
Compare versions of bills
By comparing different versions of a bill, you can identify which text has been added or deleted from a bill. Sometimes, these additions or deletions can help clarify the legislative intent of the bill.
Check the Georgia Legislative Network
You can see video archives of both the House and Senate from 2009 to the current session: http://www.gpb.org/lawmakers .
The House Legislative Network also has video files of Georgia House committee hearings from the current session at http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/house/Committees/GLN/boardcastIndex.htm.
You can contact the House Communications Office for information of archived meetings. Also while the General Assembly is in session, you can watch gavel-to-gavel coverage of the proceedings at the GLN.
Look for media coverage
Contact the Georgia General Assembly