Understanding Federal Law Citations
Laws that have passed Congress are published in three places.
Go to the web site of the State in question. For Colorado go to www.colorado.gov. Navigate through the web site until you find information about laws, and you should see a link to the state's code, which is a subject-based listing of all of the state's law.
On Colorado's web site, scroll towards the bottom of the screen until you see the links labeled "Colorado Revised Statutes." Click on the section header. Next choose "Click here to access the 2011 Colorado Revised Satutes." Click on the folder next to "Colorado Revised Statutes" on the left-hand menu. Finally, click on the lowest folder labeled "Colorado Revised Statutes" to open the subject links to the Statutes. Click on the subject that you think will contain the law(s) you seek. For instance, clicking on Title 23, Postsecondary Education allows me to choose "Community Colleges," and then "Article 60 - Community Colleges and Occupational Education." Moving over to the right-hand menu, I can click on 23-60-204 "Financing" and then read the text of the Statute dealing with community colleges financing in Colorado.
The easiest way to find the text of a law is to do an online search of the Government Printing Office's Catalog of Government Publications.
You will search for the terms you know about the law, such as the name of the act or the Public Law number.
Name of the Law
Public Law Number
You can also search for the text of legislation on Congress.gov. Search by the current legislative session or past sessions, track the progress of bills as they work through the legislative process, view committee schedules, roll call votes and more.
Local laws include ordinances of villages, cities, and towns. For unicorporated areas, local laws may fall under the County. As with state laws, the easiest place to look for local laws is on the city or county web site. Colorado Springs' site is at www.springsgov.com. The city's laws can be found using the left-hand link labeled "City Charter/City Code."
As with Colorado's state laws, you will get a subject-based directory to sort through to find the law(s) you seek. If I want to see laws related to the management of Pikes Peak, click first on "Municipal Enterprises", then on "Pikes Peak - America's Mountain, and finally on "Enterprise Status; Accountability; Contracts."
image: Creative Commons by Jonathon Thorne
Pikes Peak State College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning