Webmaster Note: The following Advanced Search Tips are designed specifically for Google and most mainstream search engines.
By default, only the pages that include all of your search terms are returned. There is no need to include "and" between terms.
For example, to find documents on legislation dealing with property assessment and taxation, simply type:
[ property assessment taxation ]
To refine or narrow your search simply add more words to the search terms you have already entered. Your new query will return a smaller subset of the pages that were found for your original "too-broad" query.
To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase OR between terms.
For example, to search for legislation on either education or insurance, just type
[ education OR insurance legislation ]
Most common words and characters are ignored. These are known as stop words as they tend to slow down searches without improving the quality of the results. These terms, such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, are not included in searches unless you indicate that they are essential.
You can do this by using the ("+") sign in front of the term. Be sure to include a space before the plus sign, which can also be used in phrase searches.
For example, to search for Article I of the Alaska Constitution use:
[ Alaska Constitution Article +I ]
You can exclude a word from your search by putting a minus sign ("-") immediately in front of the term you want to avoid. (Be sure to include a space before the minus sign.)
For example, a search for sales tax excluding alcohol will return results not related to alcohol sales tax:
[ sales tax -alcohol ]
Your search results will contains at least one excerpt of the keyword or phrase from the found web page, which shows how your search terms are used in context on that page. Your search terms are bolded, so you can tell at a glance whether the result is a page you want to visit.
To provide the most accurate results, "stemming" or "wildcard" searches are not supported. In other words, exact searches are made for the words that you enter in the search box. Searching for ("rep") or ("rep*") will not yield "representation" or "reproduction." If in doubt, try both forms: ("representative") and ("representatives"), for instance.
Searches are not case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for ("joe smith"), ("Joe Smith"), and ("jOe SmItH") will all return the same results.
You can search for phrases by adding quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes ("like this") will appear together in all returned documents exactly as you have entered them. Phrase searches using quotation marks are useful when searching for complete names of organizations or bill titles.
Certain characters serve as phrase connectors. Hyphens, slashes, periods, equal signs and apostrophes are recognized as phrase connectors. Phrase connectors work like quotes; for example, (right-of-way) is treated as a phrase even if the three words aren't in quotes.
The most accurate way to find information on a particular piece of legislation is to type in the title of the bill or the headline of the press release in quotes as a phrase, rather than typing in the bill number itself. Although bill titles can be found on the Alaska State Bill Action and Status Inquiry System (), headlines for press releases aren't always known.
Sometimes headlines and bill titles don't produce the exact documents you are looking for due to abbreviations or changes in the wording. Using the bill number as a phrase in quotes, ("sb 102"), or the date of release ("March 10, 1999") will result in a list of documents that contain these phrases anywhere on the page. To further narrow your search, type in the document that you are looking for before the phrase for the bill number or date, (sponsor statement "sb 102") or (press release "March 10, 1999"). It is also helpful to understand the of how and where our files are saved, in order to search for specific file names.
We used different filing extentions during the 23rd, 22nd, 21st and earlier Legislatures. During the 22nd Legislature we started naming our web files for each page with a ".shtml" file extention. During the 23rd, into the present, we have been ending all of our files with the ".php" file extention. For the 21st Legislature and earlier the file extentions are all ".htm" filetypes. This may be useful for refining your search to a specific Legislature or time frame by searching for that specific filetype. To search for a specific filetype you need to include the "filetype:ext" command with the appropriate filetype extention you want to search for, following your keyword or phrase.
For example, to find the sponsor statement for Senate Bill 102 during the 22nd Legislature just type
[ sb 102 filetype:shtml ]
Maybe you need to quickly find documents that are printer friendly, since not all the pages on this site are compatible with all printers. Our search results also include Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) printer friendly files that can be printed from any printer exactly as they appear in your browser.
To indicate that a particular search result is a PDF file rather than a web page, appears in blue text in front of the title. This lets you know that the program, Adobe Acrobat Reader, will launch to view the file. Click on the title link to the right of to access the PDF document. If you prefer to view the PDF file as regular text simply click on the grey "Text version" link below the returned search result.
For example, to find sponsor statements or press releases in PDF form, use the same methods mentioned above, but following your keyword or phrase, include "filetype:pdf" in your search query:
[ hb 67 filetype:pdf ]
Most browsers come with Adobe Acrobat Reader already installed, but if you do not have the current version or you do not have it installed at all, then visit the section of our page for easy instructions on how you can download and install it for free.