Current federal, state, and local laws are all available online. Although OPL’s Main Library has print copies of codes and laws which are updated regularly, the online version is the most current since there is sometimes a lapse between when the updates are printed and when they reach the library. Please refer to the online version for the most updated information.
Federal Codes and Laws
The United States code, budget, hearings and many other government collections may be accessed through govinfo, the U.S. Government’s Federal Digital System for authenticated government information.
The United States Code is published every six years with supplements published annually. Currently, codes from 1994 to 2018 and the intervening annual supplements are available online. Note that title 34, the Navy, is not included within the codes because it was repealed. Print copies of the United States Code are available at the Alameda County Law Library.
The Federal Register is the official daily publication of rules, proposed rules, and notifications of federal agencies. Official copies from 1936 to the present are available in PDF format at the link above. Unofficial copies in HTML format from 1994 to the present are available here.
If you would like to review print copies of the Federal Register, Oakland Public Library keeps copies of the current year. Older print copies are available at the Alameda County Law Library.
The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the rules published in the Federal Register. Scroll down to select “Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) I (annual)” for the most current issue. For previous issues, browse the Federal Register. Print copies of the Code of Federal Regulations are available at the Alameda County Law Library.
"The List of Sections Affected is a listing of new and amended Federal regulations that have been published since the latest Code of Federal Regulations. Each LSA issue is cumulative and contains the CFR part and section numbers, a description of its status (e.g., amended, confirmed, revised), and the Federal Register page number where the change(s) may be found. A compilation of the list from 1986 to 2000 and monthly lists from 1997 to the present are available online.
To locate Lists of Sections Affected:
Click on the plus sign next to the year you would like to review then again next to the desired month.
Then click the plus sign again to read the various titles.
Click on the PDF icon to read the full text.
Print copies from the past two years are located at the Alameda County Law Library.
A slip law is an official publication of the law and is admissible as evidence in all state and Federal courts and tribunals of the United States. Public laws affect society as a whole, while private laws affect an individual, family, or small group. Slip laws from the 104th Congress (1995-1996) to Present are available online.
To search for a law:
- Click on the Congress you’d like to search, then click the PDF icon to read the law.
Congress.gov replaces THOMAS as the official website for federal legislative information and combines elements from FDsys. It contains:
- Congressional Legislation. Summaries of legislation from 1973 to the present, and the full text of legislation from 1989 to the present
- Congressional Record. Published daily when Congress is in session, the Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress. Issues from 1995 to the present.
- Information about the members of Congress, both past and present, including how to locate your representatives in Congress, and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, 1774 – Present.
- Presidential messages, including Executive Orders.
- Other federal reports, messages, and treaties.
Searching by keyword in the search bar located near the top of every page is straightforward. First select the collection you would like to search. For more advanced search options and guides click on Search Tools in the upper right hand corner of each page.
It is also possible to browse each collection (legislation, reports, nominations, treaties, etc.) within each Congress by clicking on Browse at the top of each page. First choose your desired Congress, then select the collection you want to explore.
This site, from the League of Women Voters, lists representatives in U.S., California, and Oakland government.
This multimedia archive, a project of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, is dedicated to the U.S. Supreme Court and includes cases from 1792 to the present. It contains all audio recorded in the Court since October 1955 and offers a virtual tour of the Supreme Court. You can read the biographies of Supreme Court Justices from 1789 to the present.
On this site you can watch videos of the President’s weekly addresses, get information about the latest job news, read about legislation, learn more about current issues, and sign up for e-mail alerts.
A project of the University of California Santa Barbara, this collection contains papers and messages of the presidents in print and audio files, from George Washington to the present. The site also includes Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Fireside chats, radio addresses, and presidential speeches from Ronald Reagan to the present.
The site is searchable by data, documents, elections, and media. Presidential Fireside Chats, Inaugural Addresses, and/or Weekly Addresses are available from 1931 to the present and are located in the Media section. Messages and Papers of the Presidents are available from 1789 (Washington)–1913 (Taft), and Public Papers of the Presidents are available from Hoover to the present and are located in the Documents section.
Part of the Library of Congress’ American Memory Project, this database is organized by topic and covers the period 1774-1875. Papers and publications from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Conventions, Statutes and Documents, Journals of Congress, and Debates of Congress are included.
California Laws and Resources
California law consists of 29 codes. To access the code you may select a code or do enter a keyword in the text search. The State Constitution is also available (see first link above codes).
The electronic version of the California Code has been updated to reflect the current statutes, but you can now find bills using the following criteria: status, author, committee or floor location, and date ranges for various legislative actions on a bill. The site contains statutes from 1999 to the present.
The full text of bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments from 1993 to the present are available on this site. Daily updates for House and Senate Bills are also available. Search for bills by entering the Bill Number, Bill Author, or Keyword in the search box. This will take you to the Bill Documents page where you can review the status and history of the bill, the voting results for the bill, and the Senate and Assembly Analyses.
The California Code of Regulations contains regulations adopted, amended, or repealed by state agencies and compiled into 28 Titles. The Official digital CCR is available only online through the Thomson-Reuters Westlaw’s website, with the exception of Title 24, the Building Code, which is subject to copyright restrictions and is available only through Depository Libraries or by purchase. The print version of Title 24 is available in the Ready Reference section of OPL’s Main Library. Please note that Parts 8 and 10 of the 2010 edition of Title 24 are incorporated into Part 2.
To search the CCR:
- Search by Regulatory Section or by keyword using the search button at top of page.
- Next click the plus sign next
Contact information for the governor is located on this website as well as press releases, executive orders, proclamations, and media advisories.
This site lists state representatives and contact information, financial statements including member and staff salaries, legislative calendars, video broadcasts, links to the Daily File, and legislation.
Senator contact information, legislative calendars and deadlines, and links to committee hearings are listed here.
Information for elected officials at the federal, state, county, and city levels from 2003 to the present are available in the California Roster Archive. To find current elected officials, click on the links the left side of the page.
The site contains the Statement of Vote from 1996 to the present, voter registration and voter status, and voter registration statistics.
Links to the Administrative Code / Alameda County City Charter are available on this site as well the General Ordinance Code for Alameda County.
The URL listed above takes you directly to the Municode website where you can read the Oakland Municipal Code. Oakland Public Library also has a copy of the Code in print format, but the electronic version is the most current.
To Access Oakland Municipal Code:
- Click browse Oakland Code of Ordinances and Oakland Planning Code
- You can view recent modifications to each code by choosing “view what’s changed” or you can browse by table of contents
- You can also search the Codes by entering a keyword in the search box at the top of the page.
Oakland’s website has information including information on City Council, job listings, contact information and news for boards and commissions, elected officials, and links to all branches of city government.
This page on the City of Oakland’s website explains the different types of permits and provides information on how to apply for a permit, or click here for the permit center.