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Michigan Legislative Website


Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 281 of 2014
House: Adjourned until Tuesday, September 30, 2014 1:30:00 PM
Senate: Adjourned until Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:00:00 AM

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Frequently Asked Questions

Michigan Compiled Laws
Legislative Documents
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General


What are the Michigan Compiled Laws?

The Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) are the compilation of Michigan laws in force, arranged without alteration, under appropriate headings and titles. The MCL includes all of the following:
   a) Public Acts enacted by the Legislature
   b) The Michigan Constitution of 1963, as amended
   c) Executive Reorganization Orders issued by the governor that make changes in the organization of the executive branch of state government when considered necessary for efficient administration

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How are the Michigan Compiled Laws organized?

The first step in learning how to use the Michigan Compiled Laws is to understand how the law is organized. Conceptually, the Michigan Compiled Laws may be divided into a hierarchy consisting of three levels: Chapters, Acts, and Sections:
   Level One - The Chapter
   Level Two - The Act
   Level Three - The Section
Some MCL chapters have been further subdivided into portions called Divisions.
Note: While the majority of chapters within the Michigan Compiled Laws contain public acts, other items with legal significance of a general and permanent nature are included. The current State Constitution, for example, may be found in Chapter 1, entitled, "The Fundamental Law." Executive reorganization orders are also compiled. These orders, which are issued by the governor, make changes in the organization of the executive branch or in the assignment of functions among its units, which are considered necessary for efficient administration. Also, many chapters of the Michigan Compiled Laws contain chapters or portions of chapters from the Revised Statutes of 1846, as amended. The 1846 publication revised and recompiled Michigan law with one result being the elimination of public act number citations. These provisions from the Revised Statutes of 1846 deal with a diversity of subjects such as local government, fraudulent conveyances, jails, and divorce.

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How is the Michigan Compiled Laws database updated?

When a bill is passed by the Legislature, signed by the Governor, and filed with the Secretary of State, it is assigned a Public Act number, e.g., 1998 PA 23. Each Public Act that adds, amends, and/or repeals sections of the Michigan Compiled Laws is incorporated into the Michigan Compiled Laws database after the necessary data processing is completed. If a Public Act is not scheduled to take effect until a future date, the Michigan Compiled Laws database will include both the current version of the affected section(s) (known as "provisionals") as well as the version of the affected section(s) that will take effect on the future date (known as "prospectives"), with appropriate cross-reference "header notes" to guide the user. Therefore, in such cases, a user may view a section of law both as it presently exists and as it will appear on a future date. Further, if a Public Act repeals a section or sections of law effective on a future date, the affected section(s) of law in the database will contain a header note to that effect alerting the user to the prospective action.

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How often is the Michigan Compiled Laws database updated?

The Michigan Compiled Law online is updated irregularly, but you can always see how recent it is by examining the right side of any page's header.

Legislation on the site is updated daily. During periods of heavy legislative activity, some documents may not be available for up to a week after they are presented in chambers.

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Are any Public Acts passed by the Legislature not included in the Michigan Compiled Laws?

Yes. Certain laws enacted by the Legislature are not included in Michigan Compiled Laws because they are not of a general and permanent character. For example, local or special acts (which may apply only to one specific local government unit or individual), appropriation acts (which provide funding on an annual basis to governmental units), and land conveyance acts (which authorize the conveyance of government property) are not included in the Michigan Compiled Laws.

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Is there a summary of newly passed sections of law, showing which sections were repealed, and which sections were amended?

The MCL Tables contain such information.

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When I peform a Public Act MCL Search, the results list displays some of the sections contained in the PA, but not all. Why is this?

The Public Act MCL Search looks at each section's History to determine whether or not to display it in the search results. It must do this or it wouldn't work for amendatory acts.

So the sections you see in the search results are those that have the public act for which you searched in their Histories. Usually, this means that these sections were part of the original act (rather than being added later). To see the full contents of the act, click on the link for the act itself, which is usually the top list result.

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Is there any way I can get the full text of statutes as opposed to the excerpts I obtain from the website?

The text you find on the Michigan Legislature is indeed the full text of the law. The word "excerpt" that you refer to is included following the statute name above an MCL section merely to indicate that the section itself is an excerpt of the entire statute. The section text presented, however, is complete.
If you are interested in reading an entire statute at once (rather than individual sections), navigate to the statute itself, then click the "Printer Friendly" icon next to the document title.

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Do you keep past year public act tables? I need to determine what the bill number was for some legislation so that I can read the legislative analyses. How do I do that?

The Michigan Legislature website maintains Public Act Tables for each year since 1997. They can be found on the Public Acts (Signed Bills) page.
Also, on the Public Acts (Signed Bills) page, you will see the Public Act Legislative Document Search. If you know the public act number you are looking for (and it was passed since 1997), enter the number and year into this search to display the bill status page (containing bill versions, history, and analyses) for the bill of origin.

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I am looking up an act, and some of the sections reference MSA numbers. Where can I find text for those MSA numbers?

MSA numbers (Michigan Statutes Annotated, an alternative numbering system to MCL numbers) have been deprecated by the Legal Editing division of the Legislative Service Bureau and are no longer supported.

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Is there any place on this site to view the "substitutes" (e.g. S-3) that are referenced in the Journals?

Documents for bill substitutes are not provided to us, and thus are not available on the Michigan Legislature website.

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I was attempting to locate a particular bill in the legislature. I did not know the bill number. What can I do?

When attempting to locate a bill without knowledge of the bill's number, try the various search tools on the Bills page. Searches on the Bills page allow you to locate bills based on sponsors, subject categories, keywords, etc.

Each time you use one of these searches, the results page will include a column containing the digest for each bill which should assist you in locating the desired bill.

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I'm looking for a list of members for several committees. Is this information on your website?

The members of committees can be found on the House and Senate sites:
http://house.michigan.gov/committees.asp
http://senate.michigan.gov/committees/standing.htm

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The links in my notification email appear broken. What can I do?

If clicking on links in your notification email always displays the Page Not Found on the Michigan Legislature website, there is probably a mismatch between the default email view in your email software and the format of the notification email. By default, the Michigan Legislature notification emails are sent in Html. If the default view in your email software (GroupWise, Outlook Express, Eudora, etc.) is set to Plain Text, then the links will sometimes be too long to fit on a single line; the remainder of the link ends up on the next line and will not be included as part of the link when you click on it, resulting in the error. There are two ways to correct this...

1) Change the view in your email software from Plain Text to Html. The steps to accomplish this vary depending on your email software, but usually this can be changed under a menu called View.

OR

2) Change the format of the notification email being sent by the Michigan Legislature website. This is a registered user preference that can be set from the Notify page. The link to the Notify page can be found in the horizontal menu bar beneath the header on every page of this site, but only if you are logged in with your registered username and password.
NOTE: If you change your notification email preference to Plain Text, the URLs sent in the emails will not be active links. However, most email software will recognize the URLs and will automatically turn them into active links.

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How do I find a Public Act?

Public Acts exist in two different forms:
1) Bill Documents that have been approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, filed with the Secretary of State, and assigned a Public Act number. This version is as it was originally passed and is considered a legislative document. Use the Public Acts (Signed Bills) page to find legislative public act documents back to 1997. To obtain versions of the PA as it was passed prior to 1997, please contact the law library at (517) 373-0630.

2) Public Acts also become part of the Michigan Compiled Laws. This version is as it exists today and contains the changes that have been made to it by way of legislation. This version is available if it was not an appropriations PA and as long as it has not been repealed by other legislation. Use the Public Act MCL Search page to find public acts within the Michigan Compiled Laws.

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How do find a bill from a prior session?

To find a bill from a prior session, select the "Bills" menu option on the left side of the screen. On the bill search page, select the session you want from the "session" drop down box. If the session you seek is not listed, please contact the Michigan Law Library at (517) 373-0630, or email them using the comment form available on this site.

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How do I obtain permission to link to this website?

No special permission is required for linking to the Michigan Legislature website. If a Short Link is available on the page to which you would like to link, it is recommended that the Short Link be used. If available, the Short Link feature () is labeled "linkable" and can be found just below the large, bold, page title.

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