Legislative Record


Since 1897, proceedings and debate of the Maine State Legislature have been published in the Legislative Record. The Records for the House and Senate are prepared and distributed by the offices of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, respectively. These offices also periodically prepare appendixes and indexes.





FAQs: Legislative Record Archive
1. What is the Legislative Record?

The Legislative Record contains the proceedings and debate of the Maine State Legislature. It has been published since 1897. There is a record for House proceedings prepared by the Clerk of the House and a record for Senate proceedings prepared by the Secretary of the Senate. These offices also periodically prepare appendixes and indexes for the Legislative Record.

2. How does the Legislative Record differ from the Journals?
The Clerk and the Secretary are constitutionally obligated to produce and publish journals of proceedings. The journals run continuously from 1820 but they do not include debate. Since the 1920s the journals have not been widely distributed. Therefore, for sessions since 1897, the Legislative Record is the preferred source for legislative history.
3. Where can I find the Legislative Record?

The Legislative Record for the current session is accessible through the Legislature’s homepage. The Legislative Record for previous sessions back to 1897 is linked from our library’s website.

4. How is the Legislative Record Archive organized?
This digital edition is arranged by Legislature, and then by session day. Within each Legislature, session days are listed chronologically, with House days on the left and Senate days on the right. The First Regular Session will be at the top of the list, with subsequent regular, confirmation, and special sessions listed below. Each session day entry includes the date, the chamber (House or Senate), and the pages of the Legislative Record for that day’s proceedings.

5. What is contained in the file for each session day?

The opening page is the cover sheet identifying the Maine State Legislature as the source of the document. The second page is the title page from the printed version of the Legislative Record. The Legislative Record text for the session day follows the title page. OCR text recognition has been applied to make the text searchable, although there may be omissions or errors in the recognition process.

6. How can I access debate if I do not know the date of the debate or the page number of the debate?

Most of the Legislative Record sessions include one or more indexes. For these sessions, the indexes will be found linked in bold above the session days to which they refer. Earlier sessions have a different index for each session. For example, if you select the 112th Session, you will find different indexes for the 1st Regular Session, the 2nd Special Session or the 4th Confirmation Session. These indexes cover both the House and Senate. For more recent sessions, the indexes cover only the House or the Senate, but they cover all sessions for that chamber. These indexes are linked at the top of the page before any of the session day links. For example, if you are looking for Senate testimony from the 119th session, choose the 119th Legislature and then select the Senate index at the top of the Senate session day links.

7. How do I find debate relating to a specific bill?

For some sessions legislative documents (“LDs” or bills) have been indexed by number. This practice began with the 109th Legislature. For the 109th through the 117th Legislatures, the LD number index is integrated within the legislative session index under the subject heading “Legislative Documents.” For example, to find LD 128 in the 109th session, look in the index for “Legislative Documents” and then locate the entry for LD 128. Beginning with the 118th session, the House provides a separate LD number index, whereas the Senate includes the LD number topically within the general Senate index. All of these indexes are linked at the top of the session days for each Legislature.

8. I’m having problems accessing debate. Help!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. If you would like to speak with a reference librarian, call 207-287-1600 Mondays through Fridays, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern time. If you would prefer to email us, use our Ask a Law Librarian” contact form.

This resource is provided by the Maine State Legislature 6/8/2022