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Ohio Primary Law Legal Research Guide

Guide based on Cleveland-Marshall's Ohio Primary Law Research Guide. Covers Ohio cases, statutes, legislative history, regulations, and administrative decisions.

Other Materials Helpful in Determining Legislative Intent

Debates and Hearings

The Ohio Channel contains video recordings of floor debates going back to 1997. Hearings and debates are not officially recorded.

"The courts in the case of a constitutional provision, as well as an act of congress, will refer to the debates for the purpose of determining what the meaning of the enactment is where there is doubt, but the expression of opinion of the individual members of congress, or of the individual members of the constitutional convention, is not conclusive." Dayton & U.R. Co. v. Dayton & Muncie Traction Co.  14 Ohio Dec. 17; 1 Ohio N.P.N.S. 218  (Ohio Com.Pl. 1903) (Case deals with an Ohio statute)

House and Senate Journals

Journals contain procedural accounts of legislative activity, not a transcript of proceedings. Contains voting records, and the text of floor amendments.

"...every statute should speak for itself, and be construed by itself; but if there be doubt as to its construction, resort may be had to extraneous matters, and nothing of this kind is more satisfactory than the journals of the body by which it was enacted." State ex rel. Peters v. McCollister (1841), 11 Ohio 46, 56. 

Conference Committee Synopsis

(photo:  Senator Troy Balderson speaks to fifth graders in a Senate hearing room.) The Conference Committee Synopsis is a summary of a conference committee report. The synopsis is prepared by the Legislative Service Commission.