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Texas Legislative History Research

A guide to walk you through the process of compiling legislative history of Texas legislation

About Texas Session Laws

Texas session laws contain the full text of the enrolled (final) version of all bills or slip laws passed by the Legislature. These bills are called Acts and are numbered chronologically into chapters. This means that the first bill passed in a session of the Legislature would be Chapter 1, the second bill would be Chapter 2, and so on. General and Special Laws of the State of Texas is the current compilation of session laws. See below for earlier titles and date ranges.

Once you've located the session law chapter, you will find the bill number via the Legislative Reference Library's Legislative Archive System or by looking at the text of the Act itself. The bill number is included directly under the chapter number on the first page. A bill number is the citation a piece of legislation had as it worked its way through the legislative process, as opposed to the chapter number (assigned after passage). 


A chart showing the official session law titles is below:

Texas Session Law Titles

1836–1845 1846–1927 1927–present
Laws of the Republic of Texas

There were two sets used at this time, which, after 1925, were merged into one set, the General and Special Laws of the State of Texas

The general title of the first set was: Laws Passed by the Legislature of the State of Texas. Some years had a variation in title:

  • 1849–53Laws of the Legislature of the State of Texas
  • 1855–71General Laws of the Legislature of the State of Texas
  • 1873–1925General Laws of the State of Texas

The general title of the second set was: Special Laws Passed by the Legislature of the State of Texas. This set also went through a series of name changes:

  • 1848–71: Special Laws of the Legislature of the State of Texas
  • 1873–1905Special Laws of the State of Texas
  • 1907–25Local and Special Laws of the State of Texas
General and Special Laws of the State of Texas

Print Access to Session Laws

Online Access to Session Laws