Legislative Process
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Legislative Process

A bill (proposed legislation) is filed by a Council Member with the Council Speaker's Office.

The bill is then introduced into the Council during a Stated Meeting and referred to the appropriate committee. One or more public committee hearings maybe noticed and held on the proposed legislation.

After public testimony and committee debate the bill may be amended.

The committee votes on the final version of the bill.

If passed in committee, the bill is sent to the full Council for more debate and a final vote.

If passed by an affirmative vote of a majority of all Council Members (at least 26 members) the bill is then sent to the Mayor, who also holds a public hearing.

The Mayor then chooses to sign or veto the bill.

If the Mayor does sign the bill, it immediately becomes a local law and is entered into the City's Charter or Administrative Code. The time before a new law becomes effective will vary from law to law.

If the Mayor disapproves/vetoes the bill, he or she must return it to the City Clerk with his or her objections to the Council by the next scheduled Stated Meeting.

The Council then has 30 days to override the Mayoral veto.

If the Council does repass the bill by a vote of two-thirds of all Council Members (at least 34 members), it is then considered adopted and becomes a local law.

If the Mayor does not sign or veto the bill within 30 days after receiving it from the Council, it is considered approved automatically.


As the legislative body, the Council makes and passes the laws governing the city. The Council has passed landmark legislation on campaign finance, anti-apartheid, solid-waste recycling and restrictions on assault weapons. Legislation pending in the Council is called an Introduction , often abbreviated to " Intro " or " Int ", and is assigned a number.

For example:, Intro 1 of 2004 would improve the NYC Pro-Voter Law by requiring all city agencies to provide training of employees on how to increase voter registration outreach efforts.

Local Laws

When an Introduction is signed by the Mayor it becomes a Local Law and is assigned a new number.

For example:, Local Law 1 of 2003 focused on creating cleaner streets by increasing fines for litter violations.

Local Laws may also be enacted over the objection of the Mayor through the veto override process. In this case, when the Mayor vetoes a proposed law, the Council can enact the law with a two-thirds vote.

For example, in 2003 the Council put in place a requirement in Local Law 24 that the Department of Education provide periodic updates on the progress of all school capital projects.


Resolutions are used by the Council as a vehicle for legislative action and to express the sentiment of the body on important public policy issues. These issues may or may not fall under City jurisdiction.

Resolutions are used to adopt land use decisions on matters that vary as widely as down zoning a geographic area in Staten Island to a tax exemption for an affordable housing project in the Bronx.

Resolutions are also used to adopt the annual City budget for both expense spending and capital spending.

Finally, resolutions are used to discuss issues that are of concern like Reso 866 of 2003 calling on Congress to provide New York City with a "fair share" of Homeland Security funding.