UNIFORM SECURITIES ACTS
States were the first authorities in the United States to regulate securities and the securities industry. Kansas adopted the first securities law in 1911, and other states soon followed. It was not until the 1930s that Congress began enacting federal securities laws. Today, all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and some U.S. territories have securities statutes. These laws, sometimes called “blue sky laws,” have existed alongside the federal securities laws for decades.
Because states adopted their securities acts at different times and with sometimes differing objectives or interests, state securities laws are not all identical. In order to bring a measure of uniformity, the Uniform Law Commission (formerly known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws) has, over time, developed model acts that states can use as the basis for their own statutes.
The Uniform Law Commission’s current model is the Uniform Securities Act of 2002 (the “2002 Act”). This model supersedes two prior models, known as the Uniform Securities Act of 1956 (the “1956 Act”) and the Revised Uniform Securities Act of 1985, as amended in 1988 (the “1985 Act”). Most state securities laws are based on one of these three models; i.e., most states have either adopted one of these models or used a model as the basis for their statutes. Some state statutes furthermore incorporate elements from multiple models. On the other hand, a few states have adopted securities laws that are unique or that are loosely based on one of these three models.
Reproduced below, with the permission of the Uniform Law Commission, are copies of the Commission’s three historic model securities acts.
In addition, immediately below is a version of the Uniform Securities Act of 1956 with updates and commentary added by NASAA over time. (This version is being included because this is the version of the 1956 Act tested in NASAA examinations.)