Legislative-Equivalency Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The doctrine of legislative equivalency is a legal principle that a law should be amended or repealed only by the same procedures that were used to enact it. This is a rule of logic and statutory construction rather than a rule of constitutional law.

In Matter of Gallagher v Regan (42 NY2d 230, 234), the Court held that the adoption of a budget without an appropriation for a particular office in accordance with the provisions in a County Charter or Administrative Code was not the legislative equivalent of a local law amending the County Charter or Administrative Code to abolish that office. The Court reasoned that “a legislative act of equal dignity and import is required to modify a statute, and that nothing less than another statute will suffice'" [New York Pub. Interest Research Group v. Dinkins, 83 N.Y.2d 377, 385 (N.Y. 1994)]