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Legislation

Legislation is law which has been promulgated (or “enacted”) by a legislature or other governing body or the process of making it. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as “legislation”, while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, provide (funds),  sanction, grant, declare or restrict. It may be contrasted with a non-legislative act which is adopted by an executive or administrative body under the authority of a legislative act or for implementing a legislative act.

 Primary legislation is known as an Act of Parliament after enactment. Legislation is usually proposed by a member of the legislature (e.g. a Ministry, member of Congress or Parliament), or by the executive, whereupon it is debated by members of the legislature and is often amended before passage. Most large legislatures enact only a small fraction of the bills proposed in a given session. Whether a given bill will be proposed and is generally a matter of the legislative priorities of government.