sunset law

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Sunset law, also known as sunset provision, is a law that automatically terminates an agency, a law, or a government program, that fails to procure legislature approval beyond a fixed period of time. For example, a state law that has created a drug rehabilitation program within prisons may provide that the program will be shut down in two years, unless it is reviewed and approved by the state legislature from time to time. 

This law was enacted in the 1970s in the United States to reform redundant and inefficient bureaucracies. The fundamental principles behind this law are to compel the Congress to examine and assess its delegations and address the key prevalent issues. 

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]