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LRAC Legal Research Class Site

What is a Bill?

Click here for a video about bills, acts, and statutes.

bill is a proposed law. A bill that is passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor becomes a law (aka act, slip law, session law). The legislative process in Arizona is the same as the process in most other states.

What is an Act?

A bill that is enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor is an act and becomes the new law of the land. An act goes by many names -  lawslip lawsession law, etc.

You can find Arizona acts for free on the Arizona State Legislature website. They are also available on Westlaw and Lexis. 

Arizona Example

In 2018, the Arizona legislature decided to crack down on fake service animals and introduced HB 2588 to fine people who pretend that their pet is a service animal. The newly passed act was assigned a chapter number - 246. The citation for the act is 2018 Ariz. Legis. Serv. Ch. 246.

The act amended existing Arizona statute A.R.S. § 11-1024 by adding subsection K.

 

What is a Statute?

Every new Arizona act is added (codified) into the Arizona codified code which is called the Arizona Revised Statutes. 

A statute is the current law of the land that appears in a codified code.

Arizona Example

The current law about service animals is codified at A.R.S. § 11-1024. If you want to know the existing law about service animals, including the 2018 amendment introducing fines for people pretending to have one, you would read A.R.S. § 11-1024. (Remember 2018 Ariz. Legis. Serv. Ch. 246 amended the statute by adding subsection K.)