How to Read an LRB Number

Just about every legislative document that gets filed in the Illinois legislature contains a funny little number starting with “LRB.” This number’s official title is the draft name, but we colloquially refer to it as the “LRB number.” You’ll find it below the synopsis on the cover page of a bill or constitutional amendment resolution and in the upper right corner on all other pages.

Senate Bill 1046’s LRB number is

LRB098 05333 HEP 35367 b

and it packs a lot of useful information:

The “LRB” tells us that the legislation was drafted by the Legislative Reference Bureau. LRB drafts the vast majority of bills and amendments, but there are some exceptions, such as Senate Bill 2424, which was drafted by the Office of Management & Budget. So I suppose the LRB number for that bill is actually an OMB number. 

The “098” means that the bill was drafted during the 98th General Assembly. Illinois’ legislative session runs in 2-year periods; we’re in the 2nd year of our current (98th) General Assembly. 

“05333” refers to the file number that is assigned to the draft. What this means is that in the file cabinets in our office, there is a file with that number, and that file contains the instructions provided for the bill draft and any other correspondence or information the drafter saw fit to include with the file. Also, any amendments, conference committee reports, or amendatory veto motions concerning a particular bill share the same file number as the bill (and those drafts end up in the same file as the bill). 

“HEP” are the initials of the attorney who drafted the document; in this case, yours truly. 

“35367” is the log identification number which is unique to the document. 

“b” tells us that the document is a bill. Other letters indicate other types of legislative documents; for example: 

  • “a” means the document is an amendment.
  • “c” means the document is a conference committee report.
  • “e” means the document is a Constitutional amendment.
  • “r” means the document is a resolution.
  • “s” means the document is a revisory bill.
  • “v” means the document is an amendatory veto motion.

So, looking at LRB098 05333 HEP 35367 b, we are able to tell that it: 1) is a bill; 2) was prepared sometime in 2013 or 2014; 3) was drafted by HEP; and 4) came out of LRB.

If you do a legislation search for the file number on the ilga.gov website (for example, if you clicked here and entered “05333”), it will pull up the bill and any amendments that have been filed. Handy, eh?

I remember when I first started working here, I was impressed that a number that seemed like just a bunch of gibberish could hold so much meaning.  Not only that, but the LRB number is the foundation of the information system that keeps track of legislative documents as they shuffle through the legislative process, a process which is, for the most part, depicted in real time on General Assembly website.  

This post was supplemented with information from Section 40-30 of the Illinois Bill Drafting Manual.


“A group of four men recently introduced a bill into the New Hampshire State House of Representatives that would make it a misdemeanor for exclusively women to show their nipples.

HB 1525-FN, sponsored by State Reps. Brian Gallagher, Peter Spanos, George Hurt, and Josh Moore, would amend the state’s public indecency, indecent exposure, and lewdness laws to include the following clause:

‘[A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if:] Such person purposely exposes his or her anus, or if a woman, purposely exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act… This section shall not apply to the act of breast-feeding.’

On Tuesday afternoon, state Rep. Amanda Bouldin posted a link to the bill on her Facebook, along with a comment expressing her disapproval, ‘YES, all the sponsors are men. And Republicans. So much for ‘smaller government’….’” Joanna Rothkopf, The Slot/Jezebel

“A debate over public nudity in the New Hampshire State House took a dark turn on Tuesday when male lawmakers made disturbing comments about breasts toward their female colleague on Facebook.

State Rep. Amanda Bouldin (D) wrote a post on the social media website expressing her opposition to a proposed bill in New Hampshire that would make it a misdemeanor for women to expose their nipples in the state. Bouldin wrote an open Facebook message to the sponsor of the bill, State Rep. Josh Moore ®, saying that he should scrap the bill or at least exempt new mothers who are breastfeeding.

‘The very least you could do,’ Bouldin wrote, ‘is protect a mother’s right to FEED her child….’” Laura Bassett, The Huffington Post

“I spoke with Bouldin about these unapologetically misogynistic attacks on Wednesday while she and her daughter scraped ice off her car windshield.

‘The idea that a man can be topless because his nipples aren’t sexual is bizarre,’ Bouldin told me:

‘I certainly find men’s nipples sexual! If men being topless wasn’t sexual, they’d have to take off their pants to attract any women. We know that topless men are sexual. But apparently only topless men are allowed to display their sexuality. Women are not.’

Bouldin was unfazed by her colleagues’ harassment and plans to fight the bill in 2016. She sees the battle as a feminist issue.

‘We shouldn’t be introducing new legislation that only applies to women,’ she said. ‘If we had any laws that started with the sentence ‘women should not,’ they should have been repealed by now.’” Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Tennessee named 'worst legislature' in the country

The state of Tennessee has landed atop yet another list — this one compiled by D.C.-based reporter Tim Murphy of Mother Jones. In it, Murphy names Tennessee as No. 1 worst legislature in the U.S.

Murphy jokes that the results are scientific in nature, but in truth, it isn’t revealed how he came to the conclusions he did. Regardless, he does spell out examples for each state.

(Sen. Stacey Campfield was cited numerous times in Mother Jones’ about the
worst legislatures nationwide. Photo by Saul Young/KNS)

As for Tennessee? Here are some of the reasons that Tennessee’s legislature is the worst — or craziest — in the nation, according to Murphy.

  • Gov. Bill Haslam’s signing of the “gateway body parts” bill that legislates an abstinence-only sexual education program, which would prohibit teachers from discussing almost any sexual activity during sex ed class.

  • Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which sought to bar any discussion of homosexuality in elementary schools.

  • Campfield’s remarks about the origin of AIDS, in which he says this in a radio interview:

“It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men It was an airline pilot, I believe, if I recall correctly. …

My understanding and correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Science, on this, but my understanding also is that it is virtually — not completely impossible — it’s virtually impossible to contract AIDS outside of blood transfusions through heterosexual sex. It’s virtually impossible. If you are having anal sex, yes, you are much more likely to contract AIDS.”

  • The “monkey bill,” a piece of legislation that aimed to “provide guidelines for teachers answering students’ questions about evolution, global warming and other scientific subjects” like global warming.

  • Legislation introduced by Republican state Sen. Bo Watson to “crack down on the scourge of transgender citizens, by introducing legislation that, per ThinkProgress, "would institute a $50 fine for anybody who does not use the public restroom or dressing room that matches the sex identification on his or her birth certificate.”

  • Fake rumor circulated through a state email account by Republican state Rep. Kelly Keisling that asserts Obama was planning a “fake assassination attempt as a pretext for imposing martial law in the United States.”

If you’re curious what other examples Murphy cited, or if you want to read about other states’ goofs, check out the story on Mother Jones. And it’s worth noting, for those who may not know, Mother Jones is considered a politically liberal website.

Did you know that no federal law protects 90% of farmed animals?

Turkeys, chickens, and other poultry are not protected by either of the two federal laws impacting farmed animals. Abuse, neglect, confinement, and mistreatment are the NORM on farms. From the moment they are born to the moment they are slaughtered, they only know a world of pain, suffering, and immense cruelty.

Be the change and go vegan.

Hooray for Monsanto, an All American Company Providing Americans with Almost a Century of Birth Defects. Monsanto Will Continue Its Relentless Metastasis into the Heart of the Unborn Child.

The above picture is of a child whose fetal development was misdirected by exposure to a Monsanto chemical teratogen, dioxin. The child, however sees better than most  Americans.

Monsanto, an All American corporation and I mean they, by god, fart a red, white and blue noxious gas, have deformed children for near a century while  patriotic Americans have rested on their imaginary laurels. Americans, known to be oblivious and somewhat stupid as a people and indifferent have allowed their lobbylegislator Senators and Congressmen to be corporate poo poo toys almost forever.

Monsanto and dioxin and a birth defect? Hmmm. Try Monsanto, beginning in fucking 1901, producing year after year, one more god damn carcinogen after another and denying the harm of each every time. DDT, PCBs, Dioxin, Agent Orange, Aspartame have caused irreparable harm to human life in the form of incurable disease and generations of crippling birth defects. And lest you forget, the entire time Monsanto, the manufacturer adamantly claimed they were harmless. DDT could have destroyed entire ecosystems, agent orange is still causing birth defects fifty years later as are all the other chemical curses left to us by Monsanto…….and yes Monsanto’s Roundup, the herbicide advertised by your shitstream media outlet,  has now been proven to cause cancer and disrupt human digestion at the cellular level.

Think that’s bad? It hasn’t got bad yet! This shit is out of a 1950’s black and white horror film. Hang on! Guess who just stepped down from the head of the FDA? The now CEO of Monsanto just stepped down from the “leadership” of the eviscerated FDA. Try not to throw up, but before he was at the FDA he was an attorney for Monsanto.

How can things be this bad? Actually, it really, really does get  worse. Monsanto has utterly no accountability to ANYONE as concerns the GMOs - genetically modified foods that end up in your food and in your body. Monsanto does not want Americans to know what foods have GMOs in them and they are getting their way.

Study after study shows that GMOs are responsible for the thirty year decline of Americans health, their lifespans, their fertility rates, their increased infant mortality, obesity, allergies, IBS and on and on. Most of Europe has banned GMOs.

America: Blind, Deaf, Dumb and Almost Dead if not from ignorance then from inability to stop being “the cattle”. Nothing has changed; eugenics is alive and well in America. US politicians and corporations at one part per billion are much worse to Americans than an Osama Bin Laden every damn day. Americans, we live to be treated like shit.

Michigan Bills Limiting Union Power Pass in Legislature

The Michigan Legislature approved sweeping legislation on Tuesday that vastly reduces the power of organized labor in a state that has been a symbol of union dominance and served as an incubator for union activity over decades of modern American labor history.

The two bills, approved by the House of Representatives over the shouts of thousands of angry union protesters who gathered on the lawn outside the Capitol building, will among other things, bar both public and private sector union workers from being required to pay fees as a condition of their employment. 

The bills have already been approved by the State Senate, and Gov. Rick Snyder has said he intends to sign the legislation as soon as this week. Procedural maneuvering could still briefly delay the bill through calls for reconsideration.

Critics say the ‘Right To Work’ bill is a union-busting law that allows workers to benefit from union bargaining (ex. automatic pay raise) without being part of the union and paying dues. It essentially weakens unions by draining them of funds.