Series 456

Legislature. House of Representatives

Journals, i 1882-

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Schedule Description

These journals serve as a record of the action of the legislature during session. They constitute the published minutes of the State House of Representatives from the territorial period to the present. House and Senate journals were kept beginning with the creation of the territory in 1851, but were kept separately after 1882. Minutes from joint sessions are recorded after 1890; before that, they were recorded only in the Senate minutes. Daily entries cover a standard order of business. Place, date, roll, and prayer are noted before proceeding with business. Membership rolls are included. Citizens' petitions for various actions; monetary claims;and communications from agencies, groups, or individuals are recorded. Committee reports recommending passage or rejection of particular legislation are provided. The process of enacting legislation via bills and resolutions is the most frequent business recorded. Other agency reports, memorials, invitations, etc. may also be entered in the
record during particular periods.

Scope and Content

These volumes constitute the published minutes of the House from territorial days to the present. The legislature began keeping journals shortly following the creation of the territory in 1850. By 1882 the journals of the house and senate were kept separately, although the 1892 edition was bound jointly with the separate journal of the Senate.
The House followed a standard order of business, which is recorded in the daily entries. The place and date is entered, there is note of the call to order and roll, a prayer, reading of the journal entry from the previous day, legislative business, then adjournment. While the activities are noted, details are not. The beginning day of each session usually lists all members answering to roll call; thereafter the entries just specify if a quorum is present. Often a separate table of members is included toward the start of the volume. Many of the volumes have the House rules recorded toward the beginning which specify the order of business and clarify procedures.
Legislative business is only slightly more detailed. Petitions, if any, are the first order of new business. These are requests from citizens for various actions and are most frequently referred to the appropriate committee. Other communications, from agencies, groups, or individuals, might also be read into the record at this time.
Committee reports are the next order of daily business. The reports recommend the passage or rejection of particular legislation. If the entire committee is not in agreement, a minority report might be presented. Initially, reports were more detailed and letters from various state agencies were sometimes entered into the record as part of a committee report. However, by the 1920s, committee reports were confined to a statement recommending passage or rejection of legislation with amendments as needed. Committee members are appointed and listed at the beginning of the session.
The process of enacting legislation via bills and resolutions is the most frequent business recorded. The title of the bill is noted along with its status: which reading it is at, whether or not it is passed, whether it has been referred back to committee, what amendments or rewrites are motioned for, etc. The contents of the bills are not recorded, although brief summaries of the contents along with the sponsors' names are recorded in separate tables from 1977 to 1979. The names of individuals motioning for particular actions are specified as are the names on the final vote on a bill or resolution.
Messages from the opposing chamber, usually relating to a joint session or the passage of a bill in that house, are recorded in full. Messages from the governor also report passage, veto, or objections to portions of particular bills. County financial reports are included as appendices from 1882-1888. Speeches related to statehood are prevalent in 1896 and 1897. Memorial tributes to deceased notables occur intermittently. Other miscellaneous business includes such things as invitations to visit or attend various civic functions, a poem read into the record, remarks by various speakers to the committee as a whole, etc.
Minutes from joint sessions are entered in the journals of both houses after 1890; before that the COUNCIL JOURNAL is cited. The governor's opening message was also presented in joint session and printed in full, detailing topics of concern in the state and recommending legislative action. Initially, several agency reports, particularly those of the auditor and treasurer, accompanied the governor's address; later these were simply summarized in his message. Joint memorials to Congress, pleading for federal action (or inaction), commonly appear in the joint sessions of the 1880s, but are shorter and less frequent after statehood when Utah gained more autonomy.


Microfiche holdings require staff assistance due to fewer reference copies. Handle masters under supervision.

As noted in the inventory, pre-1882 journals were published with the senate's in series 3145, and the 1892 journal was bound with the Council Journal and thus starts on page 395. Also, the house usually met in even numbered years until statehood and odd numbered years thereafter, moving to annual sessions (either budget or regular) in 1976. Therefore, entries for other years are not to be expected unless some sort of special session was held.

The 2008 volume covering 57th first special and general session is missing in microfilm. Use other available copies including additional print copies in the Research Center.

Parts were microfilmed in the 1970s and early 1980s; the remainder were filmed in 1991-1992 and following. Any pages missed or blurred in the initial filming will appear as retakes at the beginning of each reel. The 1985 extraordinary sessions were bound out of chronological order, and therefore filmed out of order. Archivally processed by A.C. Cone in 1990 with container list updates as needed.

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