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Texas Legislative History Research

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

House Committee Hearings & Floor Debates

2001–present: House audio and video archives of floor debates are available from the Video/Audio section of the House website. For committee hearings, navigate to individual committee's website and then look for "Broadcast Archives" quick link on the right.

1973–2001: Audio tapes may be obtained from the office below.

House Tapes from the 63rd Legislature (1973)–present are available at:
John H. Reagan Building, Room 330
105 W. 15th Street
Austin, Texas  78701
(512) 463-0920
(512) 463-5729 (fax)

Note: Requests must be made in advance, in writing.

Senate Committee Hearings & Floor Debates

Online:

Senate audio and video archives from March 1999–present are available from the Senate Media Video Archives. 

Audio from 62nd Legislature, 4th Called Session (1972) through 79th Legislature (2006) is available online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission; work is ongoing to make more available. 

Hard Copies:

Senate tapes from the 62nd Legislature, 4th Called Session (1972) through the 79th Legislature (2006)
Available online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The Legislative Reference Library holds the original recordings. However, due to preservation concerns, patrons can no longer access the tapes. For more information, contact the Legislative Reference Library:

Legislative Reference Library
PO Box 12488
Austin, TX 78711-2488
512-463-1252

Senate tapes from the 80th Legislature (2007) to present
Senate Staff Services, Sam Houston Building, Room 175
201 East 14th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 463-0430

Audio Recordings of Hearings & Debates

During the 63rd Legislative session (1973), the Legislature began making audio recordings of public hearings held by committees and the floor debates in the House and the Senate. Because transcripts of committee meetings are seldom produced, recordings are often the best source of information on legislative intent. If any transcripts are available, which is rare, they will be housed with the tapes in the media offices.

To listen to or order these tapes, you will need the following from the bill history:

  • The names of the House and/or Senate committees to which the bill was referred,
  • The dates on which the bill was considered by committee or subcommittee in public hearings, and
  • The dates of the bill's second and third readings in the House and/or the Senate.

Formal meetings are not routinely audio taped, but you may contact House and Senate Media to determine if a tape of a formal meeting exists.