Tip of the Week: How to Find the Text of a Public Law When All You Have is the Popular Name

Miscellaneous, Statutes at Large, Tip of the Week, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Have you ever found yourself looking for the text of a public law or an act, but you don’t have the public law number or Statutes at Large citation?  This week’s tip will illustrate how you can utilize two different sources in HeinOnline to search for the text by the popular name.

Watch the Tip of the Week on YouTube, or continue reading below the video for the full-text version.

For our example, we are searching for the text of the Securities Act of 1933.

The first resource you can try is the U.S. Statutes at Large library in HeinOnline.  From the U.S. Statutes at Large landing page, click on Browse by Popular Name…

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Tip of the Week: Where can I find a House or Senate Report in HeinOnline?

Tip of the Week, Tips and Tricks, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Committee Reports are considered to be one of the most important documents of legislative history research.  All House and Senate Reports are published in the United States Congressional Serial Set, which is not a resource available in HeinOnline.  However, HeinOnline may still have a House or Senate Report available in it’s  U.S. Federal Legislative History collection which contains more than 1,000 full-text legislative histories. So, how do you determine if we have the report or not?

Check out this week’s how-to video on YouTube, or continue reading below the video for a full-text version.

  1. First, determine what public law the committee report is tied to.
  2. Then, navigate to HeinOnline’s U.S…

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Tips & Tricks: Cumulative Contents of Legislative Histories in HeinOnline

Miscellaneous, Tips and Tricks, Training, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Miranda Rosati

Legislative Histories found in HeinOnline’s US Federal Legislative History Library are comprised of a number of documents ranging from one or two to hundreds, which can be overwhelming to browse through. If you click on a publication title of a legislative history that has more than one volume, we will give you the option to view Cumulative Contents.

Cumulative Contents displays a complete list of every document, showing you the type of document, title of the document, and a description of that document for every volume within the set. This will allow you to browse and scroll through all the documents in the volumes of the legislative history on one page. 

Now…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Water Quality Act of 1987

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library!

The Water Quality Act of 1987, enacted April 2, 1987 provided the most recent series of amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the Clean Water Act. Provisions included:

  • Authority to continue the Chesapeake Bay Program and to establish a Chesapeake Bay Program Office (33 U.S.C. 1267). The original authorization for this program, the Chesapeake Bay Research Coordination Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-460), expired on September 30, 1984
  • Establishment of a Great Lakes National Program Office within EPA and a Great Lakes Research Office within NOAA (33 U.S.C. 1268). Related Federal agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife Service…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library!

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on October 17, 1986. SARA reflected EPA’s experience in administering the complex Superfund program during its first six years and made several important changes and additions to the programs. This Act:
  • stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites
  • required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements found in other States and Federal environmental laws and regulations
  • provided new enforcement authorities and settlement tools
  • increased State involvement in every phase of the Superfund program
  • increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites
  • encouraged greater citizen participation in making decisions on how sites should be cleaned up
  • increased the size of the trust fund to $8.5 billion
SARA also required EPA to revise the Hazard Ranking System to ensure that it accurately assessed the relative degree of risk to human health and the environment posed by uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that may be placed on the National Priorities List…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Energy Policy Act of 1992

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library!

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 is a United States government act. The Act addressed energy efficiency, energy conservation and energy management, natural gas imports and exports, alternative fuels and requiring certain fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles, which are capable of operating on nonpetroleum fuels, electric motor vehicles, radioactive waste, and more!

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 is far reaching in impacting electrical power deregulation building codes and new energy efficient products.

This six-volume legislative history set will be available in HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library with the July content release.

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Exploring HeinOnline: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library!

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009.

The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined by the ADA as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The determination of whether any particular condition is considered a disability is made on a case by case basis…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History Library!


The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was a trade agreement signed by Canada and the United States on October 4, 1988. The agreement, finalized by October 1987, removed several trade restrictions in stages over a ten year period, and resulted in a great increase in cross-border trade.

As dictated by the agreement, the main purpose of the Canadian-United States Free Trade Agreement are as follows:

  • Eliminate barriers to trade in goods and services between Canada and the United States
  • Facilitate conditions of fair competition within the free-trade area established by the Agreement
  • Liberalize significantly conditions for investment within that free-trade area
  • Establish effective procedures for the joint administration of the Agreement and the resolution of disputes
  • Lay the foundation for further bilateral and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of the Agreement

This 13-volume legislative history set will be available in HeinOnline’s U.S…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Selective Service Act: Its Legislative History, Amendments, Appropriations, Cognates and Prior Instruments of Security

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library
This 5-volume set explores the legislative history of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, also known as the Burke-Wadsworth Act.  It explores the historical background of the Act; the law as it was passed and became effective on September 16, 1940; and the amendments made to the Act during the 6 1/2 years following it’s enactment.  This Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and was the first peace-time draft in United States history.  The Act required that men between the ages of 21-35 register with local draft boards.  After the United States entered World War II, a  new selective service act made men between the ages of 18-45 liable for military service and required that all men between 18-68 register. 
This 5-volume legislative history set will be available in HeinOnline’s U.S…

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Exploring HeinOnline: Medical Device Amendments of 1976 & Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990

Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
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Coming Soon to the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library
When the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act was passed in 1938, the FDA was charged with removing adulterated or mis-branded medical devices from the market.  It did not however give the FDA the ability to review medical devices before they entered the market.  When the Act was passed in 1938, medical devices were for the most part simple instruments in which defects could have been easily detected.  Since then, technology and research has provided for the development of far more complex medical devices, many for which defects could not be and are not easily detectable.

From 1938 to 1976…

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