A bill is a proposed new law introduced within a legislature that has not been adopted. Once a bill has become law, it is thereafter an act; but in popular usage the two terms are often treated as if they meant the same.
Types of bills
Bills can be divided into:
- public bills, which apply to the general population
- private bills, which only apply to a single person or to a select group of people. If a private bill is punitive in nature, it is called a bill of attainder.
- hybrid bills, which combine elements of both public and private bills. Note that the concept of hybrid bills is not widely recognised outside the United Kingdom (in particular, it is expressly not recognised in Canada).
- local bills, which affect only a certain locality, and are often proposed by local government to the legislature
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