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When a bill is passed in a state legislature, is it possible that that the bill just stands alone as a new law, or does it mean that a statute in the state's code of law is updated?

For example, if a bill in New Jersey is passed that says that alcohol cannot be sold on Sundays, will this necessarily also show up in the states code on https://codes.findlaw.com/nj/ ?

The reason I am asking is because I was reading some bills and then searching for the exact wording from the bill in the state code, and I often could not find it.

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No. Probably most bills are amendments to statutes, but certainly not all.

Appropriations bills, for instance, are not usually codified anywhere. Likewise, legislatures often approve resolutions that take a position on whatever issue -- like identifying the honeybee as the state insect -- and those typically are not part of any statute.

Of course, even when the bill is meant to amend a statute, you may not actually find that language in the statutes for several possible reasons: maybe the bill hasn't been approved by the governor, maybe it hasn't taken effect yet, maybe the codifiers just haven't made the changes yet.

In any event, you should be able to see the answer by looking toward the top of the bill. If it's meant to amend a statute, it should say so before the language of the actual amendment.

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  • If the bill is an amendent to a statute, doesn't that mean the language of the bill will be amended to the statute and should be visible there (obviously assuming it was signed by the governor)?
    – lgshost
    Commented Apr 28 at 17:27
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    In most cases, that will eventually happen. In some, it may not. For instance, Bill 1 could insert a Provision B, effective on Date X. But Bill 2 could then repeal Provision B before Date X arrives.
    – bdb484
    Commented Apr 29 at 1:04
  • This answer cites nothing and is false @lgshost
    – Tak
    Commented May 22 at 3:15
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All laws are published.

Sometimes a bill gets a new number or name as it is edited when it goes from the house to the senate or it becomes part of a larger law.

So for example, if the House voted on bill number 400 and then the Senate would not pass it in the same form the House did, the edited version may get a new number since it is technically not the same bill.

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    Yes, but if Bill #400 is passed an signed by the governor, does that necesarily mean that updates are made to the state's code of law ?
    – lgshost
    Commented Apr 28 at 21:42
  • Yes, of course it does. @lgshost
    – Mimedfp
    Commented Apr 28 at 21:54

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