1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Municipal Home Rule
  4. Article 3: Procedure for Adoption of Local Laws; Referenda; Filing and Publication


Section 20 Procedure for adoption of local laws by legislative body

Municipal Home Rule (MHR)

1. No local law shall be passed except by at least the majority affirmative vote of the total voting power of the legislative body. On the final passage of a local law the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, and the names of the members present and their votes shall be entered in the record, journal or minutes of proceedings.

  2. The style of local law shall be "Be it enacted by the (naming the legislative body) of the (name of local government) as follows:"

  3. Every such local law shall embrace only one subject. The title shall briefly refer to the subject matter. For purposes of this chapter, a local law relating to codification or recodification of ordinances or local laws into a municipal code shall be deemed to embrace only one subject. As used herein codification or recodification shall include amendments, deletions, repeals, alterations or new provisions in the municipal code; provided, however, that the notice of public hearing required by this section shall briefly describe the codification or recodification.

  4. A proposed local law may be introduced only by a member of the legislative body at a meeting of such body or as may be otherwise prescribed by the rules of procedure adopted by the legislative body. No such local law shall be passed until it shall have been in its final form and either (a) upon the desks or tables of the members at least seven calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage, or (b) mailed to each of them in postpaid properly addressed and securely closed envelopes or wrappers in a post box or post office of the United States post office department within the local government at least ten calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage, or (c) e-mailed to the e-mail in-box of each of them in the Portable Document Format (PDF) at least ten calendar days, exclusive of Sunday, prior to its final passage, provided that (i) the local government has documented that each member of the legislative body has an e-mail address, (ii) the local government has published such e-mail address on the bulletin board of the local government clerk, and (iii) the legislative body has unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing such electronic delivery; unless the elective or appointive chief executive officer, if there be one, or otherwise the chairman of the board of supervisors, in the case of a county, the mayor in the case of a city or village or the supervisor in the case of a town shall have certified as to the necessity for its immediate passage and such local law be passed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total voting power of the legislative body.

  For purposes of this subdivision, a proposed local law shall be deemed to be upon the desks or tables of the members if: it is set forth in a legible electronic format by electronic means, and it is available for review in such format at the desks of the members. For purposes of this subdivision "electronic means" means any method of transmission of information between computers or other machines designed for the purpose of sending and receiving such transmissions and which: allows the recipient to reproduce the information transmitted in a tangible medium of expression; and does not permit additions, deletions or other changes to be made without leaving an adequate record thereof.

  5. In the case of a local government which does not have an elective chief executive officer as defined by subdivision four of section two of this chapter, no local law shall be passed by the legislative body until a public hearing thereon has been had before such body and in every other local government no such local law shall be approved by the elective chief executive officer until a public hearing thereon has been had before him. Such a public hearing held before the legislative body or before the chief executive officer, as the case may be, pursuant to this subdivision shall be on such public notice of at least three days as has been or hereafter may be prescribed by a local law on which a hearing shall have been held as prescribed by this section upon five days' notice or, in the event such a local law prescribing the length of notice is not adopted, upon five days' notice. Where the public hearing is before such officer, such notice shall be given by him within ten days after the local law shall have been presented to him and the hearing shall be held within twenty days after such presentation.