Massachusetts Constitution, General Laws, session laws & bills

Get access to historical and current laws drafted and passed by the Massachusetts Legislature here.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts Constitution

Massachusetts Constitution

In 1780, Massachusetts declared statehood with the adoption of its state constitution. It is the oldest constitution in the world that is still actively being used and it once served as a model for the U.S. Constitution. Find the original text of the state constitution on the legislature's website, as well as adopted articles of amendment, and amendments rejected by the people.

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Massachusetts General Laws

Massachusetts General Laws

General laws are session laws that are permanent in nature and of general application, and are arranged by subject. Find laws by subject or citation from the legislature's website.
Note: Be sure to always check the Notice at the bottom of the page for information on when the site was last updated. 

Massachusetts laws by popular name

Browse our table of Massachusetts laws and regulations by name. This table was developed as an aid in finding selective Mass. General Laws by their commonly known names, because some common terms do not actually appear in the text of the statutes. In some instances, there are references to judicial decisions and agency regulations. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list or index.

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Session laws

Session laws (Acts and Resolves) 1997-date

Session laws, called Acts and Resolves in Massachusetts, are the laws passed by the legislature arranged chronologically.

"This site provides an unofficial version of the Session Laws from 1997 to the present and is updated regularly...The vast majority of Session Laws are Acts. Acts include everything from our annual state budget (the General Appropriation Act) and major legislative initiatives to reorganize government agencies. Session Laws that are not codified into the General Laws are called Special Acts and include matters affecting an individual or a particular city or town. A Resolve is most often used when the legislation's only purpose is to establish a special commission to investigate a certain issue."

Acts and Resolves 1692-2010, State Library

The State Library provides access to older, archived acts. "The Acts and Resolves, which contains the session laws and resolves passed by the Massachusetts legislature, is among the State Library’s most highly used resources."

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Bills 2009-date

Bills are proposed laws. The legislature's website provides access to bills by bill number and subject. This site also provides a handy table of the most popular bills. 

Bills (legislative documents) 1798-2010, State Library

The State Library provides access to older, archived legislative documents (bills, legislative reports, communications, etc.)

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Additional information

Guide to Performing Massachusetts Legislative History, State Library.

A step-by-step guide to tracing legislative history in Massachusetts. 

Researching the History of Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, State Library.

A helpful guide to researching state constitutional amendments in Massachusetts. 

Historical legal documents and laws

A compilation of links to old laws available online going back to 1620.

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