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Massachusetts Laws Help

Add one or more keywords (see Keyword Search Tips below) and clck Search.

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)

Laws Search Help

All Laws Search

This basic search from the Massachusetts Laws page brings back results from both General Laws and Session Laws.

You have more options to narrow your search using the individual General Laws Search and Session Laws Search pages.

Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to one of the Sections, Chapters, Titles, Parts, Year, Act, or Resove on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Refining and Filtering: Pare the results down using the refiners on the left panel of the Search Results page. The results present all results by default. Narrow down results by checking the checkboxes (the number of results for each type are shown at right of the checkbox and label). If a refiner set has more than 5 refiners available, you can choose more refiners by clicking the "Show More Refinements" link, and a dialogue box will pop over the results page. Clicking a refiner replaces the original results with only the results from the checked refiners (note: checking all refiners is the same as getting the whole original result set). Get back to the original set of results by clicking the Reset "X" icon.

If a "filter" icon appears, it represents an ability to subdivide that refiner even further to narrower divisions. If you choose to "Filter further" you cannot return to the previous list of refiners.

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)

General Laws Help

General Law Search

A basic search requires only one field to be filled in.

General Laws are subdivided into Parts, each of which contain Chapters, which in turn contain Sections. You can select a specific Chapter or Section alone, or in combination with the keyword.

Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to one of the Sections, Chapters, Titles or Parts on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)
General Laws Index

You may also browse the General Laws by clicking on one of the Parts/Chapters bars in the General Laws Index list (note the multiple Chapters in each Part).

Session Laws Help

Session Law Search

A basic search requires only one field to be filled in, but you may

  • Enter a Chapter Number
  • Select a specific Type, either Act or Resolve from the dropdown,
  • Choose to narrow your search to a specific Year.

Each bill that becomes law is given a chapter number based on the chronological order in which it was adopted. These chapters are called Session Laws and are compiled on an annual basis. The majority of Session Laws are Acts. Acts include everything from  annual state budget and major legislative initiatives to reorganization of government agencies. 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.

Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to one of the Chapters or Acts  on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Refining and Filtering: Pare the results down using the refiners on the left panel of the Search Results page. The results present all results by default. Narrow down results by checking the checkboxes (the number of results for each type are shown at right of the checkbox and label). If a refiner set has more than 5 refiners available, you can choose more refiners by clicking the "Show More Refinements" link, and a dialogue box will pop over the results page. Clicking a refiner replaces the original results with only the results from the checked refiners (note: checking all refiners is the same as getting the whole original result set). Get back to the original set of results by clicking the Reset "X" icon.

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)
Session Laws Index

You may also browse the Sesison Laws by clicking on one of the Acts or Resolves links.

Bills Help

A basic search requires only one field to be filled in, but you may

  • Enter a keyword alone
  • Enter a Bill Number alone or with keyword
  • Limit the search for a bill to a specific City/Town, Document Type, or a Committee (only found on the full Bill Search page, not on the Bills Section Landing page).
  • General Court will default to the current legislative session year.

Bill Number Syntax: You can use

  • Just a number (ex: 1496) or
  • Prepending "H" or "S" to search for House- and Senate-specific bills (ex: H234, or S.123).
    The system does not distinguish between S.123 and S123.

Multiple Bill Numbers: Multiple bills can be found by

  • separating them with commas (ex: H2003, 1395, 2345)
  • or indicating a numerical range (ex: H345-H445, or 998-1000)
  • or using a combination of both commas and ranges (ex: H345-H445, 7865, 1286, H22)

Note: These Bill Number searching methods currently do not work in the Keyword field. Multiple specific Bill Numbers can only be found using the Bill Number field.

Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to the Bill or Bill Sponsor  on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Refining and Filtering: Pare the results down using the refiners on the left panel of the Search Results page. The results present all results by default. Narrow down results by checking the checkboxes (the number of results for each type are shown at right of the checkbox and label). If a refiner set has more than 5 refiners available, you can choose more refiners by clicking the "Show More Refinements" link, and a dialogue box will pop over the results page. Clicking a refiner replaces the original results with only the results from the checked refiners (note: checking all refiners is the same as getting the whole original result set). Get back to the original set of results by clicking the Reset "X" icon.

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)

Bills Search Help

A basic search requires only one field to be filled in, but you may

  • Enter a keyword alone
  • Enter a Bill Number alone or with keyword

Bill Number Syntax: You can use

  • Just a number (ex: 1496) or
  • Prepending "H" or "S" to search for House- and Senate-specific bills (ex: H234, or S.123).
    The system does not distinguish between S.123 and S123.

Multiple Bill Numbers: Multiple bills can be found by

  • separating them with commas (ex: H2003, 1395, 2345)
  • or indicating a numerical range (ex: H345-H445, or 998-1000)
  • or using a combination of both commas and ranges (ex: H345-H445, 7865, 1286, H22)

Note: These Bill Number searching methods currently do not work in the Keyword field. Multiple specific Bill Numbers can only be found using the Bill Number field.

Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to the Bill or Bill Sponsor  on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Refining and Filtering: Pare the results down using the refiners on the left panel of the Search Results page. The results present all results by default. Narrow down results by checking the checkboxes (the number of results for each type are shown at right of the checkbox and label). If a refiner set has more than 5 refiners available, you can choose more refiners by clicking the "Show More Refinements" link, and a dialogue box will pop over the results page. Clicking a refiner replaces the original results with only the results from the checked refiners (note: checking all refiners is the same as getting the whole original result set). Get back to the original set of results by clicking the Reset "X" icon.

Keyword Search Tips

  • To find either horse OR bicycle (or both, not necessarily together as a phrase) simply separate words by spaces, or type this: horse OR bicycle )
  • To find both elementary AND education in the same result, type: elementary AND education
  • To get results with the exact phrase higher education use quotes to surround the phrase, as in: "higher education"
  • To search for taxi but not return results that also have taxicabs or licenses, use: taxi NOT taxicabs NOT license (or simplify as: taxi -taxicabs -licenses)

Legislator Search Help

Legislator Search

A basic search requires only one field to be filled in.

  • You don't need both First and Last name to do a search by name.
  • If you don't know the name, you can use the other fields without entering a name to get an initial list of people.
  • By default, both House and Senate legislators are searched unless you narrow down using the Branch dropdown.
  • You can narrow your search to a City, Town, Zip Code or District.
Search Results

Click on a result to view its details (whole result highlights in blue when you hover), or you may browse to one of the Sections, Chapters, Titles or Parts on the left side of the results table (in the "Found In" column).

Keyword Search Tips

  • The Legislator Search does not accept boolean operators (ex: you cannot use AND, OR, NOT)

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