Legislation is important for several reasons, including setting standards and controls to govern the actions of people and groups in the public and private spheres. Legislation is sometimes referred to as statutory law, and it is law that has been put into place by the actions of a legislature or governing body. Legislation is valuable to setting societal standards and norms at all levels of government, including the local, state and national level.
Legislation at all levels can serve several purposes. It is used to regulate activities, authorize certain actions, supply resources such as funding, implement sanctions and permit or deny certain activities. For an issue to be considered for passage or denial in legislation, the item must first be proposed by a member of the legislature, such as a member of Congress or a judge. The item is then discussed among other members of the legislature, who decide whether to put the item up for consideration in passing legislation.
Items may be approved for further consideration or denied. If approved, they are often changed or amended in successive legislative sessions before passing. Legislation is one of three primary functions of government; legislators create legislation, which is then interpreted by individuals in the judicial branch and set into law through the executive branch.