A bill (proposed legislation) is filed by a Council Member with
the Council's law clerk.
Council Member makes a proposal for a new law or law change. That
Council Member supplies the Council's "Counsel" (Lawyers)
with any relevant information they have gathered that would be helpful
in writing up the new law. The lawyers then review the information.
They also review existing local, State and Federal laws to determine
if the proposed legislation can be legally instituted. In other
words, they need to make sure it will not conflict with another
preexisting law and they also check to make sure that the City Council
has the authority to institute the proposed law. Once this is done,
the lawyers write up an "official" wording of the new
law-to-be. It's not enough to just state it. It has to be written
up as an official legal document.
Member Kathryn Freed proposed legislation
to create a local law legalizing ferrets in NYC on 6/25/99.
The bill is then introduced into the Council during a Stated Meeting
and referred to the appropriate
the legislation is written into "legalese" it is introduced
to the City Council and given an official number. At this point
it is considered to be a "bill". The City Council is broken
into several committees. Each committee is responsible for different
areas of local law and policies. After the bill is introduced into
Council, it is given to the committee that handles that particular
area of lawmaking and policy.
Intro 627: The Ferret Regulation Bill
was introduced to The City Council on 9/9/99 and was sent to the
City Council Health Committee for review. (Note: The City Council
Health Committee is not the same as the Department of Health.)
A public hearing is held on the proposed legislation.
weeks later a public hearing is held. At this time, the public is
invited to present any information or arguments for or against the
bill. Anybody can speak at the hearing and express an opinion and/or
submit documents. Often, speakers need to register in advance to
allow sufficient time for all comments. In addition to the hearing,
the public is encouraged to mail written documents and/or letters
to the committee in support of or against the bill at any time during
the decision making process.
Public Hearing was held on Monday December 18th 2000.
After committee debate and public testimony, the bill may be amended.
Committee reviews the bill, the information provided from the public
hearing, information from documents and letters that have been mailed
to the Committee, and from any other sources that have been submitted.
At this time they may choose to amend the bill or to let it stand
as is. Once they have finished reviewing the bill and made any necessary
Committee made a few minor revisions. The new version of the bill
is titled "Intro 627-A"
The committee meets again to vote on the final version of the bill.
April 19th, 2001 The City Council Health Committee voted in favor
of passing Intro 627-A.
more about it...
If passed in committee, the bill is sent to the full Council for
more debate and a final vote.
passed in committee, a date is set for the bill to be put before
the entire City Council. On that date, there will be some discussion
and debate, and then a vote will be taken by the entire City Council.
FULL City Council will vote on Intro 627-A on May 9th 2001!
If passed by an affirmative vote by a majority of Council Members
(at least 26 members) the bill is then sent to the Mayor, who also
holds a public hearing.
627-A passed by EXACTLY 26 votes.
Read more about it...
The Mayor then chooses to sign or veto the bill.
the Mayor approves, he signs and passes the bill.
is the Mayor's right to vote "no" on something in spite
of the entire City Council voting "yes".
If the Mayor does sign the bill, it immediately becomes a local
law and is entered into the City's Administrative Code.
If the Mayor disapproves the bill, he or she must return it to the
City Clerk with his or her objections to the Council at the next
scheduled Stated Meeting.
the Mayor vetoes the bill, he will state his reasons for doing so,
and return the bill back to the City Council.
Giuliani vetoed (turned down) the bill to legalize ferrets on
May 21, 2001.
The Council then has 30 days to override the Mayoral veto.
City Council will review the Mayor's reasons for not wanting to
pass the bill, and take that new information into consideration.
Then the City Council will vote on the bill again. However, this
time they'll need a two-thirds vote to pass the bill and override
the Mayor's veto, not just a majority vote.
other words, the first time the bill came before the City Council,
at least 26 members had to vote in favor of the bill for it to pass.
However, this second time around, if the City Council wants to override
the Mayor's veto and pass the bill, at least 34 members of
the City council need to vote in favor of the bill.
City Council had the OPTION to override the Mayor's veto, but
there weren't enough votes to warrant the scheduling of a vote.
In the end, we were only about 4 votes short.
more about it.
If the Council does repass the bill by a vote of two-thirds of all
Council Members, it is then considered adopted and becomes a local