Law & Legislative Research
Basic instructions on how to locate bills or laws on any given topic.
Legislative research can seem intimidating, but these guides from the NH Law Library will show you how to locate any bill or statute you may need.
Chapter Laws, Session Laws, and "Chaptered Final Version"
These are three names for the same thing: the annual list of laws passed in a given year. Chapter Laws are not to be confused with State Statutes, which are the all of the laws currently in effect, organized by subject.
For more details on Chapter / Session Laws, use this terrific guide from the New Hampshire State Library: Where to Find Chapter / Session Laws.
To start searching Chapter Laws, use the General Court's Bill Status Database.
Revised Statutes Annotated, aka NH RSA
These are the Compiled Statutes for New Hampshire. As mentioned above, Compiled Statutes are a collection of all the statutes currently in effect, organized by topic, as opposed to the laws passed within a specific year.
Again, the State Law Library has a very helpful guide on researching the NH RSAs: About the NH RSAs.
Searching for Bills
If you're looking for a bill that is still being considered by the General Court, you can find those through the General Court home page. There you have the option to search by bill number, full-text, or by legislator.
You can also search for past bills, dating back to 1989, by using the advanced bill database.
If you're new to legislative research, we highly recommend the Law Library's Guide to Compiling a New Hampshire Legislative History.
Please Note: Although current bills and laws are available online, earlier years (pre-1989) are available in print at the state library. For more information, use our Ask a Librarian service to contact us.