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Act vs. Bill: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 7, 2024
Act is a law officially passed by a legislative body. Bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature.

Key Differences

An act is a document that has been passed by a legislative body and becomes law, whereas a bill is a draft of a proposed law presented for approval to a legislative body.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024
A bill goes through several readings and debates before it is passed and becomes an act, which is then enforced as law.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024
Acts are legally binding and enforceable, while bills are merely proposals and have no legal standing until they are passed and become acts.
Huma Saeed
Jan 07, 2024
The process of converting a bill into an act involves various stages including committee reviews, amendments, and voting, whereas an act is the final product of this legislative process.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024
Bills can be introduced by government members or, in some systems, by private members or groups, but they only become acts after receiving formal approval from the legislative body and, typically, assent from the head of state.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Nature

A law that is officially passed and enforceable
A proposed law under consideration
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

Legal Status

Legally binding
Not legally binding until passed
Huma Saeed
Jan 07, 2024

Stage in Process

Final stage of the legislative process
Initial proposal and drafting stage
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

Approval Required

Already approved and enacted
Awaiting approval by legislative body
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

Origin

Result of a passed bill
Introduced by legislators or groups
Harlon Moss
Jan 07, 2024
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Act and Bill Definitions

Act

Document of Law.
The act was signed into law by the President.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Bill

Banknote.
She handed a twenty-dollar bill to the cashier.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Act

Legal Statute.
The Civil Rights Act was a landmark legislation.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

Bill

Playbill or Advertisement.
The bill for the new theater production was posted downtown.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

Act

Performance in a Play.
The first act of the play set the scene beautifully.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

Bill

Legislative Proposal.
The bill was introduced in Congress for debate.
Huma Saeed
Dec 15, 2023

Act

Part of a Legislative Measure.
The act included provisions for healthcare reform.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 15, 2023

Bill

Statement of Charges.
The electric bill arrived in the mail.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Act

Behavioral Action.
His act of kindness didn't go unnoticed.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 15, 2023

Bill

Itemized List.
The restaurant bill detailed every ordered item.
Harlon Moss
Dec 15, 2023

Act

The process of doing or performing something
The act of thinking.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Bill

An itemized list or statement of fees or charges.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Act

Something done or performed; a deed
A charitable act.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Bill

A statement or list of particulars, such as a theater program or menu.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What is a bill in government?

A proposed law presented for debate and approval in a legislature.
Huma Saeed
Jan 07, 2024

Are all acts derived from bills?

Typically, yes, as bills are the proposals that become acts.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

What is an act in legislative terms?

A law officially passed and enacted by a legislative body.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

What's the purpose of a bill?

To propose new laws or amendments to existing laws.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

Is an act the same as a statute?

Yes, an act is often referred to as a statute.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

Can an act be amended?

Yes, through a subsequent legislative process.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

Who can introduce a bill?

Usually, members of the legislative body, including government and sometimes private members.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

How long does it take for a bill to become an act?

The time varies, depending on the legislative process and urgency.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

How does a bill become an act?

By being passed by the legislature and receiving formal approval or assent.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

Can a bill be rejected?

Yes, a bill can be rejected at various stages of the legislative process.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

What happens after a bill is passed?

It becomes an act and is enforced as law.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

Can the public influence a bill?

Yes, through lobbying, public opinion, and consultation processes.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

Can citizens propose a bill?

In some systems, there are mechanisms for citizen-initiated legislation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 07, 2024

Is an act always a national law?

Not always, as acts can also be passed by state or local legislatures.
Harlon Moss
Jan 07, 2024

How are acts enforced?

By the executive branch of government through various agencies.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

Do all bills become acts?

No, many bills are rejected or fail to complete the legislative process.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024

What happens to a bill in committee?

It is reviewed, debated, and possibly amended before going to a vote.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

What's the difference in legal power between an act and a bill?

An act is legally enforceable, whereas a bill is a proposal without legal force until passed.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 07, 2024

Are bills public documents?

Generally, yes, bills are public and open to debate and scrutiny.
Harlon Moss
Jan 07, 2024

Can a bill be reintroduced if rejected?

Yes, a bill can be reintroduced in a future session.
Janet White
Jan 07, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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