Inside the Legislative Process

Graphic of notebook coverNow, Inside the Legislative Process is becoming an electronic document—making its information more accessible to legislators and legislative staff.  The electronic version will include all sections published since 1996.  Access the electronic edition of Inside the Legislative Process through the Published Sections List.  Please note that the individual sections are published as PDFs, which will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the documents.

As of January 2010

Background

Inside the Legislative Process is a nationally-recognized, valuable research tool, providing some of the best information on state legislative processes.  It is produced through a cooperative effort between the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

In 1975, ASLCS authorized its first comprehensive survey of the structure, size, function and operations of the clerks’ and secretaries’ offices in the 50 state legislatures.  The survey proved to be an extraordinarily useful document, not only to the Society’s members but also to the NCSL and to others who are interested in the management and procedures of legislative chambers.  The data proved so beneficial that the surveys have been continued.  Surveys were conducted in 1975, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

The publication format for Inside the Legislative Process has changed over the years.  In 1975, the data were compiled into charts for use by ASLCS members.  From 1979 through 1992, editions were published every three to four years as stand-alone books.  Beginning with the 1996 edition, Inside the Legislative Process became a publication with its information divided among several general topic tabs in a three-ring binder. 

Topics Covered by Various Editions

Legislatures deal with a large number of parliamentary issues—too many to be addressed in a single survey.  As a result, the topics covered by each edition of Inside the Legislative Process typically vary.   

Year* Topics Covered
1979
(available in printed format only)
Selection and duties of the clerk and secretary; staff; parliamentary authority; journals; calendars; bills; committee process; legislative procedures; public information offices; publications; computerization; roll call voting systems; fiscal information; recording of session or committee meetings
1982
(available in printed format only)
Office of the chief clerk and secretary; salaries and benefits; bill processing; printing of legislative documents; referral of bills to committee; calendaring process; advance public notice of committee meetings; taping of committee meetings and floor sessions; parliamentary authority; public information; media coverage; computerization
1985
(available in printed format only)
Office of the chief clerk and secretary; salaries, benefits and personnel policies; printing of legislative documents; referral of bills to committee; calendaring process; advance public notice of committee meetings; committee consideration and reporting of bills; taping committee meetings and floor sessions; conference committee procedures; media coverage; electronic roll call voting systems; computerization
1988
(available in printed format only)
Calendaring process; handling of floor amendments; voting practices; consent calendars; introduction and referral of bills; courtesy or personal resolutions; ceremonial practices (including prayer practices); referral of bills to committee; appointment of standing committee chairs and members; standing committee size and structure; committee scheduling during the session; legislative party caucuses; bill processing; printing of legislative documents; capitol facilities; salaries, benefits and leave policies
1991
(available in printed format only)
Legislative organization; regular, extraordinary or special sessions; committee consideration of bills; committee report information; advance notice of committee meetings and open meeting requirements; expediting the legislative process; readings of bills; processing of bills; debate; taping committee meetings and floor sessions; public information; printing (of legislative documents); document charges; the journal; selection of the principal clerk; selection of other chamber offices; staff functions; parliamentary authority; fringe benefits; leave plans and time
1996 Opening day of session; new member orientation; mechanisms used to streamline bill processing; sponsorship limits for legislation; referral of bills, standing committees; subcommittees; conference committees; floor amendments; vote requirements; roll call voting machines and practices; censure, expulsion and other disciplinary actions
1997 Rules committees; access to printed legislative documents; electronic access to legislative documents; communicating with legislators
1998 Engrossing process; enrolling procedures; the calendaring process; end-of-session logjam; the veto process
1999 Legislative party caucuses; legislative leaders; recording legislative proceedings; media or public information services; the principal clerk or secretary (which also includes info on other job positions within the office); parliamentary authority
2000 Legislative organizational sessions; transition process; germaneness requirements; reconsideration processes; the legislative journal; archiving legislative documents
2002 Bill prefiling; personal, congratulatory, ceremonial or courtesy resolutions; prayer practices; open meetings and notice requirements
2004 Regular and special or extraordinary sessions; committee procedures
2006 Floor Amendment procedures; automation of journal production  
2008 Readings of bills; mandatory roll call votes; messaging

*Note:  The edition year reflects the year in which the data were collected (not the publication date).

Published Sections List

Note:  The documents are published as PDF files.  To view PDF files, you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Section

Topic

Edition Year

Document Name

 

Inside Cover, Contents, List of Tables, and Acknowledgments

2008

08Tab0

Tab 1

Introduction

2008

08Tab1

Tab 2

Legislative Organization

 

 

Part 1

Opening Day of Session

1996

 96Tab2Pt1

Part 2

New Member Orientation

1996

96Tab2Pt2

Part 3

Legislative Party Caucuses

1999

99Tab2Pt3

Part 4  Legislative Leaders 1999 99Tab2Pt4

Part 5

Legislative Organizational Sessions

2000

00Tab2Pt5

Part 6

Transition Process

2000

00Tab2Pt6

Part 7

Legislative Sessions

2004

04Tab2Pt7

Tab 3

Bills and Bill Processing

 

 

Part 1

Mechanisms Used to Streamline Bill Processing

1996

96Tab3Pt1

Part 2

Sponsorship Limits for Legislation

1996

96Tab3Pt2

Part 3

Referral of Bills

1996

96Tab3Pt3

Part 4

The Engrossing Process

1998

98Tab3Pt4

Part 5

Enrolling Procedures

1998

98Tab3Pt5

Part 6

Bill Prefiling

2002

02Tab3Pt6

Part 7

Personal, Ceremonial, Congratulatory or Courtesy Resolutions

2002

02Tab3Pt7

Tab 4

Committee Procedures

 

 

Part 1

Standing Committees

1996

96Tab4Pt1

Part 2

Subcommittees

1996

96Tab4Pt2

Part 3

Conference Committees

1996

96Tab4Pt3

Part 4

Rules Committees

1997

97Tab4Pt4

Part 5

Committee Consideration of Bills

2004

04Tab4Pt5

Tab 5

Floor Action

 

 

Part 1

Floor Amendments

1996

96Tab5Pt1

Part 2

Vote Requirements

1996

96Tab5Pt2

Part 3

Roll Call Voting Machines and Practices

1996

96Tab5Pt3

Part 4

The Calendaring Process

1998

98Tab5Pt4

Part 5

Germaneness Requirements

2000

00Tab5Pt5

Part 6

Reconsideration Processes

2000

00Tab5Pt6

Part 7

Prayer Practices

2002

02Tab5Pt7

Part 8

 Floor Amendment Procedures

 2006 

 06Tab5Pt8

Part 9

 Reading of Bills

 2008

 08Tab5Pt9

Part 10  Mandatory Roll Call Votes

 2008

 08Tab5Pt10

Tab 6

General Legislative Procedures

 

 

Part 1

Censure, Expulsion and Other Disciplinary Actions

1996

96Tab6Pt1

Part 2

End-of-Session Logjam

1998

98Tab6Pt2

Part 3

The Veto Process

1998

98Tab6Pt3

Part 4

Open Meetings and Notice Requirements

2002

02Tab6Pt4

    Part 5  Messaging     2008

 08Tab6Pt5

Tab 7

Legislative Documents

 

 

Part 1

Access to Printed Legislative Documents

1997

97Tab7Pt1

Part 2

Electronic Access to Legislative Documents

1997

97Tab7Pt2

Part 3

The Legislative Journal

2000

00Tab7Pt3

Part 4

Archiving Legislative Documents

2000

00Tab7Pt4

Part 5

 Automation of Journal Production

2006

06Tab7Pt5

Tab 8

Public Information

 

 

Part 1

Communicating with Legislators

1997

97Tab8Pt1

Part 2

Recording Legislative Proceedings

1999

99Tab8Pt2

Part 3

Media or Public Information Services

1999

99Tab8Pt3

Tab 9

Office of the Chief Clerk or Secretary

 

 

Part 1

The Principal Clerk or Secretary

1999

99Tab9Pt1

Part 2

Other Chamber Officers and Staff

1999

99Tab9Pt2

Part 3

Parliamentary Authority

1999

99Tab9Pt3