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Guide Massachusetts General Laws, session laws & bills

Bills are proposed laws. Session laws, called Acts and Resolves in Massachusetts, are the laws passed by the legislature arranged chronologically. General laws are session laws that are permanent in nature and of general application, and are arranged by subject. Get access to all 3 types of legal information here.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts General Laws

Massachusetts General Laws

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.

Additional Resources for Massachusetts General Laws

Session laws

Session laws (Acts and Resolves) 1997-date

"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."

Additional Resources for Session laws



Provides access to bills by bill number and subject. This site also provides a handy table of the most popular bills. 

Additional Resources for Bills

Additional information

Guide to Performing Massachusetts Legislative History, State Library.

A great source from the State Library. A step-by-step guide to tracing legislative history in Massachusetts. 

Historical legal documents and laws

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

Additional Resources for Additional information