Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's the Law

A popular source for the status of a bill pending in Congress is Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet. Named for our third President, Thomas Jefferson, it is also a repository for the Congressional Record going back to 1989, and Public Laws going back to 1973. One can search bills by committee, by a word or phrase, or, if you have it, the bill number. One thing to keep in mind: when you see citations to a numbered Congress, such as the 109th Congress, it refers to the two-year period between the swearings in of a new Congress. The 109th Congress coves 2005 and 2006, the 108th Congress covered 2003 and 2004, and so forth.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is where you will find the rules of the Cabinet departments and other executive agencies of the Federal Government. There are 50 volumes that are updated annually; the first 16 on January 1st, Titles 17-27 on April 1st, Titles 28-41 on July 1st, and Titles 42-50 on October 1st. The CFR that covers the Small Business Administration and the SBDC program is Title 13, Business Credit and Assistance. But you don’t have to know that, since the Search mechanism will aid you in finding the current regulations.

Pending and existing New York State law can be retrieved in a database provided by the New York State Legislature.

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