Bill 65-15 – County Charter – Legislative Procedure | Councilmen Kach & Marks

Bill 65-15 proposes an amendment to the Baltimore County Charter in order to increase the number of days within which a bill must be passed by the County Council or fail.


The County Charter sets forth the procedures of the Legislative Branch of County Government, and particularly the procedures for introducing and passing legislation. Currently, the Charter states that Aany bill not passed within 40 days after its introduction shall fail.@ As a result of the 40-day time limitation, during the summer months when the Council meets only one time per month, a bill introduced at the first Monday session of a month must be voted on and passed at the first Monday session of the following month. During the rest of the year, when the Council meets in Legislative Session on the first and third Mondays of each month, the Aone month@ cycle works the same way. A bill introduced at the first Monday session is voted on and passed at the first Monday session the following month. Similarly, a bill introduced at the third Monday session is voted on and passed by the third Monday session of the following month. The 40-day limit does not afford sufficient time for a bill to be held over to any subsequent Legislative Session.


Bill 65-15 increases this time period from 40 days to 70 days. This additional time will permit a bill that is introduced and then published as required in a newspaper of general circulation to proceed through the normal 1-month cycle to a vote, or be held over to a subsequent Legislative Session if further discussion, investigation, or consultation is warranted.


As a potential amendment to the County Charter, Bill 65-15 requires the affirmative vote of five members of the County Council, which shall be exempt from Executive veto. The question so proposed by this Act shall then be submitted to the voters of the County at the next general or congressional election occurring after the passage of the Act (November 8, 2016); and if passed by the voters, such amendment shall stand adopted and become a part of this Charter from and after the thirtieth day following said election.