Legislature Laws of Utah
Dates: i 1851-
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
After each regular and special session of the state legislature or the territorial assembly, the laws that were passed were compiled and published as the Laws of Utah. The act of publishing the laws was an important step in the legislative process. Until 1972, laws were not considered to be in effect until they had first been published, a requirement dating from the 1849 Constitution of the State of Deseret. In the early territorial days, acts were often published in the newspaper as well, and the law named specific public officials who were to receive a copy. [Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials for the Territory of Utah 1851, page 213-214.] The production of this series has its origin in this requirement.
The Secretary of the Territory was given responsibility for handling the financial details and for making arrangements for publication. When Utah became a state in 1896, the Board of Examiners assumed this responsibility, but by 1907 the Secretary of State's office was again in charge. They were followed in 1967 by the Finance Department and then the State Archives from 1969-1985. Currently, the Office of Legislative Printing arranges for their publication and distribution.
Legislative sessions were held annually until 1870, usually in the winter, from December to March. After that date biennial sessions were held in even numbered years until statehood. Starting with the second session of the new state legislature in 1897, biannual sessions were switched to odd numbered years. The 13th state legislature held the first special session in 1919, and after that date one or more special sessions began to be held more often. Special sessions are convened by the governor to consider legislative matters that need to be resolved immediately, before the next regular session of the legislature convenes.
A 1968 change in the state constitution created the budget session, and the first of these was held in 1970. These were held during the even numbered years when the regular session did not meet, and only government funding issues were considered. The constitution of the state was changed again in 1985 to provide for annual sessions of the legislature, eliminating the biannual budget session.
In addition to the laws and resolutions passed at each session of the legislature, additional information about state government is regularly added to the volumes. A listing of individual members of the legislature and the districts they represent has been a standard addition since 1896; only in more recent volumes has more detailed information about them, such as party affiliation and committee assignments, been added to this basic list. During the territorial period, a list of assembly members appears in only a few of the volumes. In some years only lists of federal officials are included; in others, no additional information accompanies the Laws of the Territorial Assembly. Federal laws affecting territories or a copy of the U.S. Constitution is also sometimes added to the laws from this period. The volume for the 2nd session also contains a copy of the Constitution of the State of Deseret, and a reprint of the laws passed by that body.
Beginning in 1901, listings of major state administrative and judicial officials were added. Lists of Utah representatives in Congress first appear in 1917. The U.S. Constitution and the Enabling Act creating Utah territory are part of the first volumes of the laws; the Utah State Constitution appears in 1896 and again in 1931.
Chronological by year of publication.
The series is arranged chronologically by year of legislative session. Volumes from multiple sessions held in any given year may not be in chronological order. Within each volume, laws are arranged into numbered chapters, which corresponds generally to an alphabetical arrangement by topic. The laws were organized by chapter numbers first in 1870; prior to this, laws were printed in chronological order as they were passed.
Tracing the history of legislation in the series can be most effectively done by using individual volumes in conjunction with series 83238, UTAH CODE ANNOTATED. Included in each volume of the LAWS OF UTAH are only those statutes either first passed or revised during the session in that particular year. Laws already in force at the time of the legislative session, which were not revised, are not reprinted in each volume of the LAWS OF UTAH. Until the publication of the Utah Code in the 1940s, Utah's laws were only periodically compiled or recodified. When the year in which a specific statute was first passed is not known, or when trying to learn whether a specific law regulating a particular area existed in any given year, it is best to begin searching in a volume of the UTAH CODE ANNOTATED. First check the edition of the UTAH CODE ANNOTATED published after the year when the law might have been passed. Once a law is located in the code the date of its initial passage or last revision is usually noted at the end of the section. From this date, it is then possible to identify which volume of the laws should contain the original act. Checking volumes in between these two points will also identify any revisions that occurred between its original passage and its appearance in the UTAH CODE ANNOTATED. If the date represents a revision, check the LAWS OF UTAH during the year it was revised. The laws in this volume will identify the statute it in turn is revising, or the date of the original law. With the publication of the 1953 Utah Code Annotated, the practice of publishing regular updates began, so that researching the history of a law passed after 1953 can be more easily done by using that series. The numbering system used in the code differs from that used in the LAWS OF UTAH. Access by topic is sometimes an effective way to move between the two, unless the specific code or chapter numbers revised or updated are cited in the text. Beginning with the 1933 volume, an index, or table, was added listing the titles, chapters, and sections, of the Utah code actually revised by a particular statute.
Journals from the Legislature. Senate, Series 409, discuss the progress of bills and the passage of these laws in the Senate.
Journals from the Legislature. House of Representatives, Series 456, discuss the progress of bills and the passage of these laws in the House.
Utah code unannotated from the Legislature, Series 1052, contains the current law in codified form, but does not include legal or historical annotations.
Journals from the Legislative Assembly, Series 3145, discuss the passage of laws by the assembly.
Legislative acts, resolutions, and memorial journals from the Secretary of State, Series 3148, are manuscript copies of the laws as passed by the territorial assembly or the state legislature until 1911.
Legislative bills from the Lieutenant Governor, Series 4076, contain the final versions of bills enacted into law.
Journal record books from the Legislative Assembly. House, Series 16660, contain discussions of bills passed by the legislature.
Records of the states of the United States microfilm compilation from Library of Congress, Series 27655, are the source of some of the earliest session laws of the territorial assembly.
Utah code annotated from the Legislature, Series 83238, expresses the current law in codified form and gives the legislative history of the statute.
In 1967 the Finance Department was assigned the duty of publication but from 1969-1985 the duty fell to the State Archives. Legislative Printing began in 1985 to publish this information for distribution.
This series is available on microfilm.
Microfiche holdings require staff assistance due to fewer reference copies. Handle masters under supervision.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Reel #1, which contains the microfilm copy of most of the first twenty-six sessions of the territorial assembly was filmed originally in 1949 as part of the national State Microfilming Project, sponsored by the University of North Carolina and the Library of Congress. The Archives purchased a copy during the 1960s. In several cases, the only copy held by the Utah State Archives of the laws of a particular legislative session is on this reel of microfilm. Volumes published before 1972 were microfilmed between 1965 and 1983. Volumes published 1972-1988 were microfilmed in 1988. Archival processing was also completed in that year by Val Wilson. Additional filming and container list updates were completed as necessary. Initially, one volume existed for each regular, special, or budget session; later, special sessions were bound with that of the regular session. Laws passed during sessions held from 1890-94 are also bound together. Three sessions--the 4th session, 1854/55; the 15th, 1865/66; and the 22nd, 1876--were apparently only published as part of compilations, see UTAH CODE ANNOTATED, Series 83238. Certain others exist only in microfilm: the 2nd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 18th, and 20th sessions and were filmed together as part of the State Microfilming Project. Copies of the laws from the 17th session of the territorial assembly were duplicated on this microfilm; while that of the 7th session includes a handwritten copy as well as a printed one.
Microfiche processed by Rebekkah Shaw under the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant to the Utah State Archives and Records Services for the Utah Microfiche Backlog Project (Grant No.: NAR10-RB-50086-10). July 2010 - December 2011
The series container list changed format in February 2010 to focus on transcribed titles of published volumes. As such, years in container list reflect year published ("Laws of Utah 2005" may include special session(s) from 2004 plus the 2005 general session) and references to the legislative session ("56th Legislature" contains two "general" sessions and special session(s)) were removed. Earlier volumes may feature this information more prominently, but it is not now found on title pages or spines in the 21st century.
Indexes: Most volumes include subject indexes. Other: The UTAH CODE ANNOTATED PARALLEL TABLES is an effort to coordinate changes in the code since 1898. Essentially, the tables show which specific statutes have been carried over from earlier codified editions.
- Legislative bodies--Utah--Publication of proceedings.
- Constitutions, State--Utah.
- Utah--Politics and government--1851-.
|4||none||none||1896; revenue law|
|28||2||10||1919; special session|
|21||3||2||1930; special session|
|23||3||3||1933; first special session|
|24||3||5||1933; second special session|
|25||3||7||1936; special session|
|29||3||10||1941; first special session|
|29||3||11||1941; second special session|
|30||3||13||1944; special session|
|31||3||15||1946; special session|
|32||3||17||1948; special session|
|34||3||20||1951; first special session|
|34||3||21||1952; second special session|
|36||4||2||1953; special session|
|37||4||3||1955; special session|
|39||4||5||1959; special session|
|41||4||7||1963; special session|
|42||4||9||1966; first special session|
|42||4||10||1966; second special session|
|44||4||12||1969; first special session|
|45||5||1||1970; budget session|
|47||5||3||1971; first special session|
|48||5||4||1972; budget session|
|48||5||4||1972; second special session|
|46||5||6||1973; first special session|
|49||5||7||1974; budget session|
|49||5||8||1974; second special budget session|
|49||5||10||1975; special session|
|50||5||11||1976; budget session|
|51||5||13||1977; first special session|
|51||5||14||1978; second special session|
|51||6||1||1978; budget session|
|52||6||3||1980; special session|
|52||6||4||1980; budget session|
|53||6||6||1981; first special session|
|53||6||6||1982; budget session|
|53||6||6||1982; second special session|
|53||6||7||1982; third special session|
|53||6||8||1983; volume I : p. 1-539|
|54||6||8||1983; volume II : p. 539-880|
|54||6||9||1983; volume II|
|54||6||9||1983; volume II : first special session|
|54||7||1||1984; second special session|
|54||7||1||1984; third special session|
|58||7||2||1984; budget session|
|55||7||3||1985; volume I|
|55||7||4||1985; volume II|
|55||7||4||1985; volume II : first special session|
|56||7||5||1986; second special session|
|56||7||5||1986; third special session|
|60||7||6||1986; fourth special session|
|59||7||6||1987; p. 1-335|
|60||7||6||1987; p. 335-1384|
|60||7||6||1987; first special session|
|57||7||7||1988; second special session|
|57||7||7||1988; third special session|
|57||7||7||1988; fourth special session|
|61||7||8||1989; first special session|
|61||7||8||1989; second special session|
|61||8||1||1990; ch. 1-165|
|62||8||1||1990; ch. 164-end|
|63||8||2||1991; first special session|
|64||8||3||1991; second special session|
|64||8||3||1992; third special session|
|65||8||4||1993; ch. 1-308|
|66||8||4||1993; ch. 308-end|
|66||8||4||1993; first special session|
|67||8||5||1993; second special session|
|67||8||5||1994; ch. 1-316|
|68||8||5||1994; ch. 316-end|
|69||9||1||1995; general session, ch. 1-322|
|70||9||1||1995; general session, ch. 323-end|
|70||9||1||1995; first special session|
|70||9||2||1996; general session, ch. 1-234|
|71||9||2||1996; general session, ch. 235-end|
|71||9||2||1996; second special session|
|71||9||3||1996; third special session|
|71||9||3||1997; general session, ch. 1-12|
|72||9||3||1997; general session, ch. 13-349|
|73||9||3||1997; general session, ch. 350-end|
|73||9||3||1997; first special session|
|73||9||3||1997; second special session|
|73||9||4||1998; general session, ch. 1-229|
|74||9||4||1998; general session, ch. 230-end|
|75||9||5||1999; general session, ch. 1-366|
|76||9||5||1999; general session, ch. 367-end|
|76||10||1||2000; general session, ch. 1-275|
|77||10||1||2000; general session, ch. 276-end|
|78||10||2||2001; general session, ch. 1-259|
|79||10||2||2001; general session, ch. 260-end|
|79||10||2||2001; initiatives approved by the voters 2000 general election|
|79||10||2||2001; first special session|
|80||10||3||2002; second special session|
|81||10||3||2002; general session, ch. 1-279|
|81||10||3||2002; general session, ch. 280-end (including veto override session)|
|81||10||3||2002; fourth special session (third special session passed no bills)|
|82||11||1||2003; fifth special session|
|82||11||1||2003; sixth special session|
|82||11||1||2003; general session, ch. 1-238|
|83||11||1||2003; general session, ch. 239-end|
|83||11||1||2003; first special session|
|84||11||2||2004; second special session|
|84||11||2||2004; general session, ch. 1-243|
|85||11||2||2004; general session, ch. 244-end|
|85||11||2||2004; third special session|
|86||11||3||2005; fourth special session|
|86||11||3||2005; general session, ch. 1-157|
|87||11||3||2005; general session, ch. 158-end|
|87||11||3||2005; first special session|
|88||11||4||2006; volume I: second special session|
|88||11||4||2006; volume I: general sesion, ch. 1-223|
|89||11||5||2006; volume II: general session, ch. 224-end|
|89||11||5||2006; volume II: third special session|
|89||11||5||2006; volume II: fourth special session|
|90||12||1||2007; volume I: fifth special session|
|90||12||1||2007; volume I: general session, ch. 1-285|
|91||12||2||2007; volume II: general session, ch. 286-end|
|92||12||3||2008; volume I: first special session|
|92||12||3||2008; volume I: general session, ch. 1-174|
|93||12||4||2008; volume II: general session, ch. 175-381|
|94||12||5||2008; volume III: general session, ch. 382|
|95||12||6||2008; volume IV: general session, ch. 383-end|
|95||12||6||2008; volume IV: second special session|
|pending||13||1||2009; volume I: general session, ch. 1-287|
|pending||13||2||2009; volume II: general session, ch. 288-end|
|pending||13||2||2009; volume II: first special session|
|pending||13||3||2010; volume I: general session, ch. 1-274|
|pending||13||4||2010; volume II: general session, ch. 275-end|
|pending||13||5||2010; volume I: second special session|
|pending||13||5||2011; volume I: general session, ch. 1-308|
|pending||14||1||2011; volume II: general session, ch. 309-end|
|pending||14||1||2011; volume II: first special session|
|pending||14||2||2011; volume I: third special session|
|pending||14||2||2012; volume I: general session, ch. 1-280|
|pending||14||3||2012; volume II: general session, ch. 281-428; resolutions; veto letters|
|pending||14||3||2012; volume II: fourth special session|