GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002: City Council JUMP TO YOUR DISTRICT
 
 

Ammended Changes to City Council Rules

Approved January 9, 2002

[Note: The following are proposed amendments to "The Council of the City of New York - Rules of the Council - 1998." For each amendment, existing language is shown in ordinary typeface, material to be added is shown in italics, and material to be deleted is shown in strikethrough.]

1. Amendment to Rule 2.40 - Changes provide more detailed reporting on Council Budget.

2.40 Personnel and Fiscal Reports - The Speaker shall provide to each member an annual report detailing the names of all individuals receiving compensation for work performed for the Council, its members or any of its committees, the amount of such compensation, and a title and job description or title (including identification of the function or division of the Council to which the individual is assigned). Each report shall also set forth the amount of allowance in lieu of expenses received by each committee chairperson.

The Speaker shall publish quarterly accountings of the Council's actual and planned expenditures, sufficiently detailed to indicate the positions and purposes which have been funded as well as the activities and categories of materials and supplies purchased. Such accountings shall be accompanied by a summary description specifying, at a minimum, the amounts devoted to the following functions and divisions of the Council: the finance division; the land use division; the infrastructure division; the human services division; the investigations and oversight division; the legal division; the Council press office; each committee; the Sergeant at Arms and other security functions; administrative and personnel functions; and the Speaker's staff, including all amounts paid to all consultants as well as the functions of such consultants.

2. Amendment to Rule 2.60 Provides for equitable allocation of resources to each Member.

2.60 Council Members' Operating Expenses. The amounts allocated in the Council budget for the operation of individual members' offices shall be the same for each member. The Speaker may not reduce such amount for any member unless all members are subject to the same reduction. The Speaker may not supplement the amount available to any member through direct payment or, indirect payment, provided that the Speaker may, with notice to all members, supplement the amount available to an individual Councilmember in cases of special need It is the intent of the body that the total amount allocated for the operation of individual members' offices shall be reasonable in proportion to the amount allocated for central staff.

3. Amendment to Rule 5.110 - Enhances public access to information about Council actions.

5.110. Legislative Tracking - The Office of the Speaker shall make available on the internet for use by the public a legislative tracking database containing the number, text and status of all proposed local laws and resolutions, committee reports and voting records of members as soon as practicable.

4. Amendment of Rule 6.60 - Improves legislative drafting services.

6.60 Legislative Drafting Services. The Speaker shall ensure that the Council central staff provides legislative drafting services to all members on an equitable and confidential basis. Confidentiality precludes Council Central Staff from refusing to provide legislative drafting services to any member on the basis that similar legislation is currently being drafted. Members shall submit all proposed local laws and resolutions and proposals for laws and resolutions to such unit prior to introduction; provided that any proposed local law or resolution submitted by any member to the Speaker's office in conformance with the rules of this chapter shall be deemed to have been introduced and shall be referred to a committee pursuant to Rule 6.30, regardless of whether such proposed local law or resolution has been approved by the legislative drafting unit. Central staff, to the extent practicable, shall respond to requests for legislation in the order in which they were received.

5. Amendment to Rule 7.00 -- Permitting Removal of Committee Chairs.

7.00. Appointment - a. Prior to the establishment of the membership of any other committee, and after the selection of the Speaker, the Council shall elect the membership of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections. All other committees and appointments thereto shall be recommended by the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections, approved by the Council and published in the Calendar. All standing committee chairpersons shall be elected by the Council as a whole. The standing committees of the Council shall bear the following titles and possess the following substantive matter jurisdictions: [list of committees omitted].

6. Amendment to Rule 7.40 - Empowering Committees to Hire Their Own Staff.

7.40 Staff. Each standing committee shall have at least one full-time staff person assigned to it, as practicable. The senior staff person assigned to each committee shall be designated by the chairperson of such committee.

7. Amendment to Rule 7.100 - Requiring Council Consideration of Bills.

7.100. Sponsor's Privilege. The first-named sponsor of a proposed local law or resolution referred to a standing committee may, at least 30 days after introduction, petition the chairperson to schedule a committee meeting to consider such proposed local law or resolution. A meeting shall then be scheduled within 60 days of such petition for the purpose of determining future action. At such meeting, the sponsor shall be the first heard in support of such proposed local law or resolution. The committee shall either vote thereon or schedule a hearing to be held within 30 days, at which hearing a vote shall be taken if the sponsor so requests. If a proposed local law or resolution is reported favorably by a committee and the council does not, within 45 calendar days of such report, vote on a motion to adopt, lay upon the table, postpone, refer or recommit such proposed local law or resolution, it shall be in order at any stated Council meeting occurring after the expiration of the 45-day period for the sponsor of such proposed local law or resolution to move for immediate consideration of such proposed local law or resolution.

8. Amendment to Rule 7.130. - Removing Unnecessary Restrictions on Discharge Petitions.

A committee may be discharged from further consideration of any matter referred to such committee, by a majority vote of the Council. The first sponsor of a proposed local law or resolution shall give written notice at least seven business days in advance, to the committee chairperson and the Speaker, of the intention to so move at the next Council meeting. Such notice shall be accompanied by a memorandum in support of the motion to discharge, which shall be signed by at least nine members, including the first sponsor.

No proposed local law or resolution that has been approved by the Council for discharge from committee shall be voted upon at the same meeting at which the vote on the motion to discharge occurred. In the event that any amendment to a proposed local law or resolution is proposed adopted, the proposed local law or resolution shall be referred back to the committee from which it was discharged.