Massachusetts Laws

The lawmaking process is laid out in our Constitution and the rules adopted by the General Court.  The resulting laws—both Session Laws and General Laws—together make up the statutory law of the Commonwealth.  Session Laws are chronological and General Laws are arranged by topic.  For more information about these types of laws, including their official versions and how these two types of laws interact, please visit our General Laws and Session Laws pages.

Tips & examples

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)
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