Bill Search Tips
Flsenate.gov offers two ways to search for bills. Use the Bill List tab to filter the bill list or search bill text. Use the Bill Search tab to search all bills and related documents, such as analyses and amendments, including those on the archive site. Bill Information Reports are another method of finding bills by a variety of criteria.
The Bill List tab provides several options for filtering the list of bills and searching bill text.
- The Session and Chamber dropdowns affect the other search fields. The options in the Primary Introducer dropdown change based on the chamber and session selected.
- Enter a Bill Number to search for bills containing that number. For example, enter "22" and get returns for bills numbered 22, 122, 220, 222, etc.
- Use the Range dropdown to limit the bill number range for your search.
- Enter a Bill Text Search Term to search the text of bills in the selected session and chamber.
- Enter a word or phrase in the Last Action field to find bills with a last action such as filed, referred, adopted, withdrawn, died in messages, etc.
- Filter the bill list by Primary Introducer based on the selected session and chamber.
- Flsenate.gov returns results for exact matches to your search terms.
- Searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case.
- Single and multiple wildcard characters - Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard at the end or beginning of a word to expand the search results. Example: govern* for govern, governs, governing, government, governmental, governor.
- If a search word or phrase did not turn up what you were looking for, try rephrasing your query. For example, searches on car and motor vehicle return different results.
- Phrase searches are similar to multiple-word searches, except words are not separated by commas.
Use the Bill Search feature to search all data related to bills, including the archive site, for bills, amendments, analyses and other documents; bill reports and popular names. To broaden your search to categories beyond bills and related documents, go to the full site search.
Advanced Search Features
- Stemming - Your search result may contain suffixes of the word used. This is called stemming. For example: If you search for the word bicycle, your search will return a broad result on bicycle, bicycles, and bicycling.
- Wildcards - If stemming does not return a broad enough result, use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard at the end or beginning of a word, or for a portion of a word. For example: If you type govern* in the Search box, the search will return a broad result on Govern, governs, governed, governing, government, governmental, governor.
- Multiple-word Searches - Two or more words separated by a comma. Will find returns that contain each word.
- Phrase Searches - Similar to multiple-word searches, except words are not separated by a comma. When federal census is entered into the search box, returns contain both federal and census.
- Quotation Marks - Put quotation marks around multiple words for results with the words together. When "federal census" is entered into the search box, returns contain federal census together.
- Boolean Operators - Specify words, exclude words, or add complex combinations of words to be queried by using Boolean Operators. Boolean Operators should be represented by words (and, or, not) and not symbols (&, |, ^).
- AND logic retrieves records in which all terms are present. A search for dog and cat will return records with both dog and cat. The more terms you combine in a search with AND logic, the fewer results you will retrieve. A search for dog and cat and fish will result in fewer returns than just dog and cat.
- OR logic retrieves all the unique records containing one term, the other term, or both of them. OR logic is most commonly used to search for synonymous terms or concepts, such as "college or university". A search for dog or cat will result in records that have at least one of the terms.
- NOT logic excludes records from your search results. A search for dog not cat will result in records that mention dog but do not mention cat. Be careful when using NOT. The term you want may be present in records that also contain the word you wish to avoid.