How to research the history of a statute


Legislative history can be found in the source note following each section of the Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS). The information in brackets [   ] at the end of a HRS section provides the history in chronological order of when the section was enacted and amended.

Picture of an HRS section with the source notes at the end of the statute highlighted.

Source Note Abbreviations
L – Year of enactment in Session Laws of Hawaii
c – Act #
s or § – Section
am – amended
rep. – repealed
gen ch – gender change
CC – Civil Code
PC – Penal Code
RL – Revised Laws of Hawaii

Example:  source note for HRS 26-14.6  [L 1989, c 211, §2, etc.]
L 1989 = 1989 year Act passed; c 211 = Act 211; §2 = section 2 of the Act


Search for the Act in Session Laws of Hawaii (SLH) to find the bill number. Acts are arranged in numerical order and will provide the originating House or Senate bill number.

Cover of the Session Laws of Hawaii along with an Act with the act number and bill number highlighted.

Use the table at end of the SLH to find the committee report numbers for the bill. The measures are normally arranged by Act or Bill number.

Table of Committee Reports on Measures Enacted. Highlighted text states Act Number, Bill Number, Senate Committee Report Number, House Committee Report Number, and Conference Committee Report Number.

Chart showing the legislative history for section 26-14.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Sample of chart created to show each amendment to the HRS section.
Shows source note for 26-14.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Source note used to fill in chart above.

Senate & House Journals contents:

  • Day to Day proceedings of the session
  • Communications received after adjournment
  • Appendix:
    • Rules of the House/Senate
    • Conference Committee Reports
    • Standing Committee Reports
  • History:
    • House Bills
    • House Concurrent Resolutions
    • Senate Bills
    • Senate Concurrent Resolutions
Table of Contents for a Journal; Appendix and History sections are highlighted; arrows point out the Conference Committee Reports, Standing Committee Reports, House Bills, and Senate Bills

Find the committee reports in the House and Senate Journals.

Page from the Senate Journal; Standing Committee Report highlighted
Page from the House Journal; Standing Committee Report highlighted
Page from the House Journal; Conference Committee Report highlighted

To find committee report numbers for Acts prior to 1961 (information not available in SLH or Digest and Index of Laws Enacted).

Find the bill number in History of Bills Table located in the back of the House and Senate Journals.

Shows two charts, each titled "House Bills Table" which show a listing of bills and corresponding pages within respective journals that have some action pertaining to that particular bill (including committee reports)

Check each page number referenced in the House and Senate Journals for committee report numbers mentioned.

Page from House Journal with a Standing Committee Report highlighted.
Selection from the "History of House Bills" table with the page number highlighted that shows the standing committee report

Page from Senate Journal with a Standing Committee Report highlighted.
Selection from the "History of House Bills" table with the page number highlighted that shows the standing committee report

Online Research

Hawaii Revised Statutes – Can be found on the Legislature’s website (Left hand column)

Session Laws of Hawaii (1959+) – Can also be found on the Legislature’s website

Legislative Archives (1999+) – Use to find Acts, bill drafts, committee reports, and testimony (2008+).

Legislative Committee Reports (2013+) – Use to find committee reports easily.

Senate Journals (1975+) – Use drop-down menu to select year in center column, second box.

House Journals (1974+) – Use drop-down menu to select year in center column, second box.


Should you have any questions about the legislative history process, please feel free to contact us through email [email protected] or by phone at 808-587-0690.