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How Do Laws, Statutes, and Rules Differ?

23/08/16 The Difference between ‘Laws,’ ‘Statutes,’ and ‘Rules’

e-legal lesson

The term “laws” refers to all laws passed by the Legislature, which are subsequently bound in the Session Laws of that year. Statutes are a codification of the general and permanent laws, which are compiled and published every year as Statutes or its supplement. By being codified into Statutes, the laws are placed into the context of statutes that have been on the books in previous years.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand a law unless it is placed into the proper context in Statutes. But remember that not all laws will become statutes. Some laws, such as ones passed for a specific town or city, and appropriation measures, aren’t included in Statutes. The appropriation bills are probably the best examples of laws that aren’t statutes.

Why are some laws not included in statutes? The main reason is that appropriation laws are applicable for only two years, whereas laws included in the statutes are intended to be permanent. And because local laws do not apply on a general level, they are not included in the statutes.

Administrative rules are not actually enacted by the Legislature. Rather, the Legislature merely gives the state agency or unit the authority to establish its own rules.

The Meaning of ‘Law,’ ‘Statutes,’ ‘Rules,’ and ‘Acts’

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