Types Of Statutes
By following proper procedures and observing constitutional limitations, the General
Assembly can create new law and can destroy old law. The kinds of laws which are enacted may
be classified under five general heads:
(1) Laws regulating individual conduct. These laws prohibit certain acts or require
certain acts by an individual in order to promote the interests of society generally. These laws
frequently impose a penalty of a fine, imprisonment, or both, for violations, and in such cases
are known as criminal laws.
(2) Laws providing for services by the State. These laws include provisions for schools,
hospital and health services, agricultural and industrial research, public recreation facilities, and
many other types of services which the State may provide for its people.
(3) Laws empowering or directing local governments to act. Cities, counties, and many
other types of local governmental units are subject to State control. This control is generally
exercised through the General Assembly by laws enabling or directing the local units to act in the
manner desired by the State.
(4) Laws determining how much money shall be raised by the State and for what
purposes it shall be spent. When the General Assembly enacts the various tax and appropriations
bills, it makes two determinations: (a) How much of the resources of the people of the State
shall be taken for purposes of government, and (b) Which governmental services and purposes
shall have priority in the competition for available funds.
(5) Amendments to the State Constitution. In addition to the above four types of statutes,
the General Assembly may propose amendments to the State Constitution. If an act to amend the
Constitution is approved by at least three-fifths of the total membership of each house, the
proposal is then submitted to the voters of the whole State. If a majority of the voters approve,
the proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution.