Social Welfare Policy/ Professor Mignon Duffy


  •  How a Bill Becomes a Law - flowchart of the legislative process.
  •  The Legislative Process: Tying It All Together - This brief guide written by House Information Resources outlines the legislative process of the U.S. government.
  • Congress A to Z, 3rd ed. (JK1067 .C67 1993 O'Leary Reference 1st floor) - Explains congressional processes in plain English.
  • How our laws are made. (KF4945.Z9 J64 2003 O'Leary Reference 1st floor) - This is another excellent introduction to congressional processes.

Federal Law Sources

  •  LexisNexis Academic - Choose "Legal Research" for full text access to U.S. and State codes of law; Supreme Court, Federal, State, and some lower court opinions;  law review articles; and government news.
  •  THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet - makes available a wide range of federal legislative information starting in 1989 (101st Congress). For legislative histories use the Legislation, Congressional Record and Committee Information databases. Most databases within Thomas cover 1989 -. 
    •  The Legislation database includes a "Public Laws by Law Number" section providing summary and status records for bills which became law since 1973 (93rd Congress). The "Bill Text" section provides the full text of all versions of bills (including those which were not enacted) considered since 1989. This section also provides links to Congressional Record pages. 
    • The Congressional Record database (1989 to date) contains the "Congressional Record Text" section and the "Congressional Record Index" section.  It is searchable by word/phrase, member name, date, or date range.                  
    • The Congressional Record Index is available from 1994 (103rd Congress, 2d Session). It is searchable by index terms (topics) and bill numbers or browsable by index terms arranged in alphabetical ranges. 
      The Committee Information database contains a "Committee Reports" section which provides full text of most House and Senate committee reports (including conference reports) issued since 1995 (104th Congress)and is searchable by word/phrase, report number, bill number, and committee.
    •  Legislative Branch Resources - GPO ACCESS provides access to a number of full text document databases for legislative history research: Congressional Bills (1993 to date); Congressional Documents ( 1995 to date);Congressional Record (1994 to date);Congressional Record Index (1983 to date); Congressional Reports (1995 to date); History of Bills and Resolutions (1983 to date); Public Laws (1995 to date). Each database is searchable by phrase (using " ") or by use of the Boolean operators adj, and, or. Although Committee Prints and Committee Hearings databases are available at this site they are limited in coverage.

Federal Regulatory Sources

Regulatory Resources

  •  Federal Register (GPO Access) - The Federal Register contains proposed rules and final rules, which will be incorporated in the Code of Federal Regulations. Each issue is arranged roughly by executive body, as the table of contents for each issue on GPO Access shows. A citation consists of the volume number, "FR," page number, and year, as in 46 FR 3566 (1981).
  •  Code of Federal Regulations  - The CFR contains regulations that have been printed as final rules in the Federal Register. It is published annually, and rules printed in the Federal Register do not appear immediately in either the online or print versions of the CFR. Searching the CFR is difficult because of the quantity of information it contains. The volume of the regulations currently in force is triple that of the laws in effect. CFR references consist of a title number, "CFR," section number, and year, as in 40 CFR 211.10 (1978)
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

State Laws