How to Perform Searches

To perform a legislative document search,

1. Click the Document radio button to search all legislative documents.
2. Click the check box to the left of the type of documents you wish to search.
3. If searching biennium or yearly documents, click the biennium/year or click All Biennia or All Years. To select multiple biennia/years, click the desired years/biennia while pressing and holding the Ctrl button.
4. Enter the word or words you are searching for and press Enter or click Search.

You may use single words, root words (e.g., crim* to find crime, crimes, criminal, and criminals), and AND, OR, or NOT searches.


Example Description Boolean Operator Use this Symbol
cat dog BOTH "cat" and "dog" appear in results And (spacebar)
cat or dog EITHER "cat" or "dog" appears in results Or Or
cat -dog Results include any document that contains "cat" and doesn't contain "dog" Not - (minus)
"guide dog" Results include any document in which "guide dog" appears as a phrase    


Searching for Compound or Hyphenated Words

Example Description Results Contain
fire *fighter Finds a single word or hyphenated word Fire-fighter
"fire fighter" Finds a multiple-word version of a term Fire fighter
Child *care or "child care" Finds single, hyphenated, or multiple-word versions of a term Childcare
Child Care


How the Search is Returned

The system returns a list of documents links that meet your search criteria. The list does not appear in numerical order; rather, it is "ranked." In order to rank documents, the system looks for how often the word occurs in the document, how close the words are to each other, and whether the words occur within key phrases.

Search Results Limits

The number of total search results is displayed in the top right corner above the search results. If there are more than 1000 results, only the first 1000 are displayed. To reduce your search results to less than 1000,

  • Select fewer document types or years/biennia to search against
  • Add more search terms to narrow your search

Navigating Through a Document

  • To view a document's contents, click the green underlined link.
  • To view the search term within the document, click Next Term. Continue clicking Next Term to see additional instances of the term in the document. To move backward through the document, click Previous Term. You may also use the right scrollbars to move through the document text.
  • To go directly to the next document in the search results, click Next Document. To move backward through the document list, click Previous Document. To return to the document list, click Back to List.