Legislative Process & Procedures

Council bills, denoted by 'CB' before the number, constitute law when enacted and often impose criminal and civil sanctions as penalties for violations. On the other hand, Council resolutions, noted by a 'CR' before the number express Council policy, often creating a study panel or task force to address a specific issue. Certain items, such as the Ten-Year Water and Sewerage Plan, are enacted via a resolution, but nonetheless carry the force of law. Resolutions are not used for ceremonial recognition; rather, proclamations are issued for that purpose. Council expressions of positions on State and Federal legislation take the form of letters approved by a majority of the full Council.

Legislation may originate from a Council member, from the County Executive, the bi-county agencies, a County department or a County commission. The Council Legislative Officer, central staff, and the Office of Law are available to assist in legislative drafting.

Any bill appropriating County funds, amending the personnel classification plans, or approving or amending negotiated labor agreements must, by law, originate with the County Executive. Executive government reorganization plans are given Council bill numbers for codification purposes, although the reorganization plans themselves are transmitted by Executive Order.