How New Laws Are Created

A new law is an official rule that governs behavior within a society or country. It is created when a group of people agree on one idea and vote to make it an official law that everyone must follow. This group is known as a legislative body. The ideas they vote on are called bills. The final rules are called statutes. A statute is a written law passed by a legislative body such as Congress. If a statute is approved by Congress and signed by the President, it becomes a public law. The process of creating a new law is often lengthy, but once the legislation passes, it becomes part of the legal system and must be obeyed by everyone.

Several major changes went into effect at midnight to start 2024 in New York State. The minimum wage increased in New York City, Westchester and Long Island to $16 per hour. The statewide minimum wage remains at $15 per hour. Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill allowing local pharmacies to give out life-saving fentanyl and drug adulterant testing supplies, called Matthew’s Law, in memory of a young man who died of an accidental fentanyl overdose. She also signed a bill expanding the eligibility of crime victims to receive victim compensation funds by eliminating the requirement that they provide proof of the crime.

The lawmaking process in Congress is complex and differs between the House of Representatives and the Senate. The first step is for a representative or senator to sponsor a bill. Then, the bill is assigned to a committee where it will undergo research, discussion and change. After the bill is changed, it will return to the legislative body where a vote will take place on whether to approve the bill. If the bill is approved, it will become a public law and will be implemented by executive departments.

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