THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
The County Council is responsible for adopting the laws of the County. The legislative process follows a monthly schedule. (The Council is in recess in August. The Council does not meet the month of November during a local election year.)
1st Monday - New legislation is introduced; legislation from prior month is given final consideration
3rd Monday - Public hearing on legislation introduced that month
4th Monday - Legislative work session, if needed
Note: If Monday falls on a holiday, Council meetings are held on Tuesday or the first day after the Holiday(s).
INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION
All bills and resolutions being introduced by Council or on behalf of the County Executive are read into the record for the first time.
All legislation introduced on the first Monday of the month is advertised for a public hearing to be held on the third Monday of the month. Any person who desires may testify at the public hearing or submit written testimony. Electronic sign-up available after introduction, by clicking here.
A work session is not mandatory and is held only if the Council needs further discussion on any legislation before it. The work sessions are open to the public; however, the public does not participate unless specifically asked by the Council.
All legislation which was introduced on the first Monday of the previous month is brought before the Council for the third reading and a vote, or it can be tabled. Before voting on legislation, the Council can amend it by a majority vote. The life of a bill is 65 days from the date it is introduced; 95 days if the Council votes to extend. A resolution can be tabled indefinitely.
Resolutions are adopted with an affirmative vote of the Council. Bills approved by the Council must be sent to the County Executive within three days for signature. Upon receipt, the Executive has 10 days either to sign or veto the bill. If the Executive takes no action, the bill becomes law. Most laws go into effect 61 days after enactment. An emergency law goes into effect upon enactment.
If vetoed, a bill may be reconsidered by the Council at the next legislative session. A two-thirds vote is required to override a veto.