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Legal Information

U.S., State, & International laws, cases, treaties, and other legal resources

What are Statutes, Acts, Laws, Bills, Regulations?

  • Statutes are federal or state written laws (or "acts") enacted by the Congress or state legislatures.
  • A bill is a legislative proposal for enactment of a law. A bill becomes a law (statute) after it is passed and signed.
  • Regulations are rules and administrative codes issued by governmental agencies at all levels, municipal, county, state and federal. Regulations have the force of law because they are adopted under authority granted by statutes and often include penalties for violations. Most often, regulations are not included in volumes containing state statutes or federal laws; instead, they must be obtained from government agencies or located in publications not widely distributed.

Search U.S., State, & Select International Statutes, Bills, and More

U.S. and Vermont Statutory Law

Statutes are federal or state written laws (or "acts") enacted by the Congress or state legislatures. 

Abbrev. Title Coverage Location/Access
USC United States Code Federal laws currently in force.

House of Reps
GPO version

USCA United States Code Annotated Federal laws currently in force, annotated with reference to federal and state court reports. Westlaw
Stat. United States Statutes at Large Laws and resolutions as originally passed by Congress, bound by session of Congress.  Issued as Public Laws (PL) "slip laws" before bound.  Note: laws may have subsequently been changed by newer laws or constitutional challenges. Print: KF50 .U5
1789 - 1875
1959-recent
Slip Laws
Vt. Stat. An            Vermont Statutes Consolidation of all Vermont laws in force, arranged under 33 broad subjects or "titles". Westlaw
VT Legislature
[none] Acts and Resolves Passed by the Assembly of the State of Vermont Historical source of Vermont law Print: Vt. Coll. KFV25 .A3

U.S. & Vermont Bills

A bill is a legislative proposal for enactment of a law. A bill becomes a law (statute) after it is passed and signed.

Abbrev.   Title Coverage Location/Access
S.
H.R.
Senate Bill
House Bill
Federal Legislation before the U.S. Congress. Congress.gov (Library of Congress)
CR Congressional Record Official proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress. Includes the text of some bills.

Congress.gov (1995+)
GPO FDsys (1994+)
Historical Collections

SB Senate Bill Vermont Legislation. 1985 - present. Vermont Legislature
HB House Bill Vermont Legislation.  1985 - present. Vermont Legislature

 

Vermont Topic Tracker (from VTDigger.org)
Includes links to news articles and bill tracking information from the VT legislature.

Committee Prints, Documents, & Reports

What is the difference?  These publications are described and can be searched on the collection pages provided by the U.S. Government via FDsys:

These can also be found using the Serial Set (except prints) and Congress.gov.

Legislative History

Consult these resources to learn how to research legislative history.

Need Debates?

Where to find the early record of debate in congress chart

U.S. Rules & Regulations

Regulations are rules and administrative codes issued by governmental agencies at all levels, municipal, county, state and federal. Regulations have the force of law because they are adopted under authority granted by statutes and often include penalties for violations. Most often, regulations are not included in volumes containing state statutes or federal laws; instead, they must be obtained from government agencies or located in publications not widely distributed.

Abbrev. Title Coverage Location
FR Federal Register Daily listing of federal agencies' proposed and final rules and regulations. Use as a supplement to update CFR. Govt. Docs AE2.106:
Westlaw, ProQuest, NexisUni (dates vary)
GPO FDsys         
CFR Code of Federal Regulations Subject arrangement of rules and regulations of U.S. government agencies. Govt. Docs AE2.106/3:
Nexis Uni
GPO FDsys

U.S. Constitution

We the people archives.gov constitution linkU.S. Constitution (CRS Annotated)
From Cornell. Text with links to Supreme Court opinions, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations; and footnotes.

GPO FDsys version


Image & Text: Archives.gov (National Archive)

Additional Resources