Skip to Main Content

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Public Policy Fall 2015: Assignment #1

Research Help from the OK Legislature

The Oklahoma State Legislature site includes some helpful information for people interested in legislation:

State Policy Assignment

Oklahoma State Capitol, by Serge Melki, Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution Generic License

For this assignment, you will be researching a recent bill in the Oklahoma State Legislature. In this guide, this has been broken into three steps: 1) Find a bill, 2) Research your bill using the legislature's sources, and 3) Research your bill using other sources.

Finding a bill, reading its text, and learning how its legislative journey proceeded will be largely the same process regardless of your bill. However, some of your research will depend on what aspect of government your bill addresses. Thus, you may find that to answer all of the questions you have been asked to answer for this assignment, you will need to use some additional sources not given here.

Step #1: Find a bill

The first part of the assignment is selecting a bill. By September 4th, you will email Dr. Karjala with your bill's number and a short description of it. The Oklahoma Legislature Advanced Search form offers these different options for finding a bill:

    • Find a Bill by Subject
    • This is the easiest way to start if you have no idea what bill you want to research. Click on a subject to see the recent bill(s) with that subject.

    • Find a Bill by Author
    • Start at the Advanced Bill Search. Click Author in the left hand column. Select a session (in this case, you want either 2015 or 2014), a measure type (either House Bills or Senate Bills) chamber (make sure it matches your measure type!), and the member name.

    • Find a Bill by Committee
    • Start at the Advanced Bill Search. Click Committee in the left hand column. Select a session (in this case, you want either 2015 or 2014), a measure type (either House Bills or Senate Bills), and committee name.

    • Find All Bills in a Session
    • If you want to browse through a list of all the bills in the 2014 or 2015 session, this is the way to do it. Start at the Advanced Bill Search. Click Current Status in the left hand column. Select a session (in this case, you want either 2015 or 2014) and a measure type (either House Bills or Senate Bills).

When you find an interesting bill, you can click on its measure number to see more information about it. The measure number is the bill number you will need to submit to Dr. Karjala.

The advanced search also includes more specific search options, but we've only included the ones that must be selected.

Step #2: Research your bill using the legislature's sources

Once you have selected a bill, you can find the text of the bill itself and a summary of its progress through the legislature on the Oklahoma State Legislature website. To find your bill again, enter your bill number and session number into the Basic Search Form.

Each bill's page has several tabs with different information about it.

  • History

    This is an chronological outline of the bill's progress through the legislature. It includes the action taken, the page on which this action is recorded in the House Journal or Senate Journal, the date, and the chamber (House or Senate)

  • Amendments

    This is a list of amendments to the bill. Click on each to read it.

  • Bill Summaries

    This is a list of short summaries of the different versions of the bill. Click on each to read it.

  • Versions

    This is where you can read the actual text of the bill. The initial page is list of the different versions of a bill. Sometimes a bill can change substantially during the legislative process, so reading the different versions can be useful. Click on each to read it.

  • Votes

    These show how each Senator and Representative voted on the bill.

  • Co Authors

    This includes information about the bill's co-authors. Sometimes, there will not be any.

You can also click on the bill's author's names at the top of the page to read more about the Senator or Representative responsible for the bill.

Step #3: Research your bill using other sources

Your bill probably mentions which Oklahoma Statutes or article(s) of the Constitution it amends and what bureaucratic agencies will implement it. Look up those statutes, constitutional articles, or agencies. 

You may be able to find news reports from the Journal Record discussing some bills. These may situate the bill in a broader context by identifying the problems the bill addresses, the people supporting or arguing against the bill, and public opinion concerning the bill.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Kelly Brown
Contact:
Nash Library 202
405-574-1262
Contact: GoodReads Page
Librarian Endorsed Offerings
Nash Library - University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma