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Pennsylvania Legal Research

This guide provides an overview of researching Pennsylvania law .

Overview

Apart from statutes passed by the General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Code and Pennsylvania Bulletin make up the existing body of official Pennsylvania documents having force of law. 

The Pennsylvania Code is the official codification of rules and regulations issued by Commonwealth agencies .  (Note that in Pennsylvania regulations are called the "Code;" in other states, a "Code" may refer to the state's statutes.)  

The weekly Pennsylvania Bulletin is the temporary supplement to the Pennsylvania Code, printing changes as soon as they occur. These changes then are permanently codified in the Code. The Pennsylvania Bulletin also publishes Governor's Executive Orders, state contract notices, summaries of enacted statutes, changes to statewide and local court rules, and more.

Generally, an agency wishing to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations first must publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking contains the full text of the proposed rule or amendment, the agency contact person, a fiscal note required by law, and background information. The agency must then allow sufficient time for public comment before taking final action. An adopted proposal must be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin before it can take effect.

The Pennsylvania Code and Pennsylvania Bulletin are available for free, and they also are available through Westlaw and Lexis, with annotations and links to related documents.

Administrative Law Resources

Executive & Agency Websites