Rules of Order and Procedure Of The City Council, City Of Chicago For Years 2023 – 2027.
Mayor; Other Presiding Officers Of The Council.
RULE 1: The Mayor shall be the Presiding Officer of the Council.
The Council shall elect one of its members President Pro Tempore of the Council, who shall act as Presiding Officer of the Council during a temporary absence or disability of the Mayor, or when requested so to do by the Mayor. The Council shall also elect one of its members Assistant President Pro Tempore of the Council, who shall act as Presiding Officer of the Council during a temporary absence or disability of both the Mayor and the President Pro Tempore, or when requested to do so by the Mayor. The Council shall also elect one of its members Vice-Mayor. In the temporary absence of the President Pro Tempore and the Assistant President Pro Tempore, the Vice-Mayor shall act as Presiding Officer of the Council when requested to do so by the Mayor. The President Pro Tempore, the Assistant President Pro Tempore, and the Vice-Mayor of the Council, when acting as Presiding Officer, shall vote on all questions on which the vote is taken by yeas or nays, their name being called last in the event of a verbal roll call vote.
The City Council Legislative Reference Bureau shall be under the joint control, supervision and direction of the President Pro Tempore, the Assistant President Pro Tempore and the Vice-Mayor.
Convening Of The Council; Temporary Chairman.
RULE 2. Each meeting of the Council shall convene at the time appointed for such meeting as provided by ordinance.
In the absence of the Mayor, the President Pro Tempore, the Assistant President Pro Tempore and the Vice-Mayor, a temporary chairman for the meeting shall be elected by a majority vote of the Alderpersons present from among their members. The Clerk (or someone appointed to fill the Clerk’s place) shall thereupon immediately call the roll of members electronically, unless any member of the City Council requests a verbal call of the roll. If no quorum be present, the Council shall not thereby stand adjourned, but the members present shall be competent to adjourn or recess the Council by a majority vote.
Quorum; Order Of Business; Questions Relating To Priority Of Business.
RULE 3. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the City Council, including the Mayor. When a quorum is present the Council shall proceed to the business before it, which shall be conducted in the following order:
- Quorum roll call and invocation.
- Public comment.
- Reports and communications from the Mayor and other City officers.
- Reports of standing committees.
- Reports of special committees.
- Agreed calendar.
- Presentation of petitions, communications, resolutions, orders, and ordinances by Alderpersons.
- The reading of the Journal of the Proceedings of the last preceding meeting or meetings and correction and approval of the same, unless dispensed with by the Council, and correction of the Journal of the Proceedings of previous meetings. No Journal correction shall be considered unless approved by the Committee on Committees and Rules. All proposed Journal corrections shall be submitted to the City Clerk, who shall distribute such proposed corrections to each Alderperson.
- Unfinished business.
- Miscellaneous business.
Any matter before the Council may be set down as a special order of business at a time certain, if two-thirds (2/3) of the Alderpersons present vote in the affirmative, but not otherwise.
All questions relating to the priority of business shall be decided by the Chair, without debate, subject to appeal.
Duties And Privileges Of The Presiding Officer.
RULE 4. The Presiding Officer shall preserve order and decorum, and may speak to points of order in preference to other members, rising from their seat for the purpose, and shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal.
In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct, the Presiding Officer shall have the power to require the chamber to be cleared.
Duties Of Members.
RULE 5. While the Presiding Officer is putting the question, no member shall walk across or out of the Council room.
RULE 6. Every member, previous to speaking or making a motion, shall rise from their seat and address the Presiding Officer, and say, “Madam President”, or “Mr. President”, dependent on the Chair’s proper title, and shall not proceed with their remarks until recognized and named by the Chair. They shall confine themselves to the question under debate, avoiding personalities and refraining from impugning the motives of any other member’s argument or vote.
RULE 7. When two (2) or more members rise at the same time, the Presiding Officer shall name the member who is to speak first.
Visitors; Lobbying During Meeting Prohibited.
RULE 8. During the session of the City Council, no one, unless by consent of the Council, shall be admitted within the bar of the City Council Chamber except representatives of the press, television, radio, ex-Alderpersons except as provided in Rule 56, and persons invited by the Mayor or other Presiding Officer. The Mayor or Presiding Officer shall assign seats for the persons invited by them. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall assign an area or areas for media, and such area or areas shall be for the reporters and for such cameras and recording devices or other equipment as may be necessary.
No person shall at any meeting of the Council solicit any Alderperson to vote for or against any person or proposition. Nothing in this Rule 8 is intended to limit debate by Alderpersons on any pending matter, or to prohibit discussion between Alderpersons, or between Alderpersons and any City employee, concerning a pending matter.
Presentation Of New Business; Call Of The Wards.
RULE 9. When a member wishes to present a communication, petition, order, resolution, ordinance or other original matter, they shall send it to the desk of the Clerk, who shall read such matter when reached in its proper order; and the Clerk shall call each ward for the sixth (6th) order of business, beginning one meeting at the First Ward and the next meeting at the Fiftieth Ward, and so on alternately during succeeding regular meetings.
RULE 10. No member shall speak more than once on the same question until every other member desiring to speak shall have had an opportunity to do so; provided, however, that the proponent of the matter under consideration, or the chairman of the committee whose report is under consideration, as the case may be, shall have the right to open and close debate. No member shall speak longer than ten (10) minutes at any one time, except by consent of the Council; and in closing debate on any question, as above provided, the speaker shall be limited to five (5) minutes, except by consent of the Council.
While a member is speaking, no member shall hold any private discourse, nor pass between the member speaking and the Chair.
Call Of Members To Order.
RULE 11. A member when called to order by the Chair shall thereupon take their seat and the order or ruling of the Chair shall be binding, and conclusive, subject only to the right of appeal.
Appeals From Decisions Of The Chair.
RULE 12. Any member may appeal to the Council from a ruling of the Chair and the member making the appeal may state their reason for the same, and the Chair may explain their ruling; but there shall be no debate on the appeal and no other member shall participate in the discussion. The Chair shall then put the question, “Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?”. If a majority of the members present vote “No”, the decision of the Chair is overruled, otherwise the decision of the Chair is sustained.
Question Of Personal Privilege.
RULE 13. The right of a member to address the Council on a question of personal privilege shall be limited to cases in which their integrity, character or motives are assailed, questioned or impugned.
RULE 14. Every member who shall be present when a question is stated from the Chair shall vote thereon electronically or, at the discretion of the Chair, verbally, unless excused by the Council.
A City Council member who has recused themselves due to a conflict of interest, including pursuant to Section 2-156-030 or Section 2-156-080(b)(1) or (b)(2) of the Municipal Code, or who has recused themselves out of an abundance of caution where recusal is not mandated by law, may not, in a meeting of either the City Council or one of its committees, preside over any hearings or participate in any debate, discussion or vote, including conversation with other members of the City Council, regarding the matter associated with the recusal, but shall be counted present for the purpose of determining quorum. The basis for any recusal must be publicly disclosed in detail at the time of a vote. The Clerk shall create a record of all recusals included on each report submitted pursuant to Rule 44 and all recusals otherwise made at a City Council meeting, and shall send it to the Board of Ethics.
Seconding Of Motions Not Required; Written Motions.
RULE 15. No motion in the Council or in committee shall require a second. When a motion is made, it shall be stated by the Presiding Officer before debate, and every motion in the Council, except motions of procedure, shall be reduced to writing, if required by a member, and the proposer of the motion shall be entitled to the floor.
Withdrawal Of Motions
RULE 16. After the question on a motion or resolution is stated by the Presiding Officer, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the Council, but may be withdrawn at any time before decision, by consent of the Council.
Division Of Questions.
RULE 17. If any communication, petition, ordinance, order, resolution or other original matter under consideration contains several distinct propositions, the Council by a majority vote of the members present may divide such question.
The Council, at the request of any two (2) Alderpersons present, shall divide a question dealing with the confirmation of appointments requiring Council approval so that each appointee may be considered separately.
Record Of Motions.
RULE 18. In all cases where a resolution or motion is entered in the Journal, the name of the member moving the same shall be entered also.
Taking And Entering Of Votes; Explanation Of Votes Not Permitted.
RULE 19. At any point during debate, any member may request that the yeas and nays upon any question be taken electronically or, at the discretion of the Chair, verbally, at the conclusion of debate and entered in the Journal; but the yeas and nays shall not be taken unless called for previously to any other vote on the question. Only members present shall be permitted to vote or have their votes recorded either by “yea” or “nay” on any matter before the City Council, any of its standing committees or subcommittees.
When the Clerk has commenced to call the roll of the Council for the taking of a vote of yeas and nays, whether electronically or verbally, all debate on the question before the Council shall be deemed concluded, and during the taking of the vote no member shall be permitted to explain their vote but shall respond, electronically or verbally as the case may be, “yea” or “nay”. After one minute has elapsed following the start of an electronic roll call vote, the Clerk will call the name of any Alderperson who has not voted in order to prompt their vote, verbally if necessary. Following this step, the voting will be deemed closed and the Clerk will inform the Presiding Officer of the result.
Announcement And Changes Of Votes.
RULE 20. The result of all votes by roll call shall not be announced by the Clerk, but shall be transmitted or handed from the Clerk to the Presiding Officer for announcement. No vote shall be entered or changed after the Clerk has conveyed the result of the vote to the Presiding Officer.
Precedence Of Motions.
RULE 21. When a question is under debate, the following motions shall be in order and shall have precedence over each other in order, as listed:
- to adjourn to a day certain;
- to adjourn;
- to take a recess;
- to lay on the table;
- the previous question;
- to refer;
- to amend;
- to postpone to a time certain; and
- to postpone (without reference to time).
Numbers 2, 4 and 5 shall be decided without debate.
Motion To Adjourn.
RULE 22. A motion to adjourn the Council shall always be in order, except:
- when a member is in possession of the floor;
- when the members are voting;
- when adjournment was the last preceding motion; and
- when it has been decided that the previous question shall be taken.
RULE 23. A motion to adjourn shall not be subject to amendment. But a motion to adjourn to a time certain shall be amendable.
RULE 24. When the previous question is moved on the main question, it shall be put in this form: “Shall the main question now be put?”. If such motion is carried by a majority of all the members authorized by law to be elected, no further amendment, motion or debate shall be allowed and the question shall be put without delay upon the pending amendments or motion in inverse order of presentation, and then upon the main question.
Motions To Lay On The Table And To Take From The Table.
RULE 25. A motion to lay a question on the table shall not be debatable. A motion to take a question from the table shall not be debatable.
A motion to lay on the table and publish, or with any other condition, shall be subject to amendment and debate.
A motion to take any question from the table may be proposed at the same meeting at which such question was laid upon the table, provided two-thirds (2/3) of the Alderpersons vote therefor.
RULE 26. A motion to lay any particular motion or proposition on the table shall apply to that motion or proposition only. An amendment to the main motion or proposition or other pending motion or proposition may be laid on the table and neither the main motion or proposition nor such other pending motion or proposition shall be affected thereby.
Postponement; Motion To Postpone Without Any Reference To Time.
RULE 27. Subject to the provisions of Rule 25, consideration of a motion or other proposition may not be postponed indefinitely. Unless a definite time is set for its subsequent consideration and final action, a motion to postpone, without any reference to time, shall be construed as a motion to postpone to the next succeeding regular meeting.
Motion To Refer.
RULE 28. A motion to refer to a standing committee shall take precedence over a similar motion to refer to a special committee.
Motion To Amend.
RULE 29. A motion to amend an amendment shall be in order, but one to amend an amendment to an amendment shall not be entertained.
RULE 30. An amendment modifying the intention of a motion shall be in order; but an amendment relating to a different subject shall not be in order.
On an amendment to “strike out and insert”, the paragraph to be amended shall first be read as it stands, then the words proposed to be stricken out, then, those to be inserted, and finally the paragraph as it will stand if so amended shall be read.
RULE 31. An amendment to the main motion or proposition or other pending motion or proposition may be referred to a committee and neither the main motion or proposition nor such other pending motion or proposition shall be affected thereby.
Filling The Blanks.
RULE 32. When a blank is to be filled, and different sums or time proposed, the motion or proposition shall be taken first on the least sum or the longest time.
Motion To Substitute.
RULE 33. A substitute for any original proposition under debate or for any pending amendment to such proposition may be entertained notwithstanding that at such time further amendment is admissible; and if accepted by the Council by a majority vote shall entirely supersede such original proposition or amendment, as the case may be, and cut off all amendments appertaining thereto.
RULE 34. A vote or question may be reconsidered at any time during the same meeting, or at the first regular meeting held thereafter. A motion for reconsideration, having been once made and decided in the negative, shall not be renewed, nor shall a motion to reconsider be reconsidered.
A motion to reconsider must be made by a member who voted on the prevailing side of the question to be reconsidered, unless otherwise provided by law; provided however, that where a motion has received a majority vote in the affirmative, but is declared lost solely on the ground that a greater number of affirmative votes is required by statute for the passage or adoption of such motion, then in such case a motion to reconsider may be made only by a member who voted in the affirmative on such question to be reconsidered.
Standing Committees Created.
RULE 35. The following shall be the standing committees of the City Council:
1. Committee on Aviation
2. Committee on the Budget and Government Operations
3. Committee on Committees and Rules
4. Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity
5. Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development
6. Committee on Education and Child Development
7. Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy
8. Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight
9. Committee on Finance
10. Committee on Health and Human Relations
11. Committee on Housing and Real Estate
12. Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights
13. Committee on License and Consumer Protection
14. Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety
15. Committee on Police and Fire
16. Committee on Public Safety
17. Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation
18. Committee on Transportation and Public Way
19. Committee on Workforce Development
20. Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards
Procedure For Selection Of Members Of Standing Committees; Chair And Vice-Chair; Size And Composition Of Committees; Committee Vouchers And Payrolls.
RULE 36. The membership of Alderpersons on standing committees, and the Chair and Vice-Chair of such committees, shall be determined by the City Council by resolution duly adopted.
Alderpersons shall be assigned to a maximum of ten (10) standing committees. The Committee on Finance and the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations shall each have a maximum of thirty-five (35) members. The Committee on Committees and Rules shall have a maximum of fifty (50) members. Each and all other committees shall have a maximum of twenty (20) members. The President Pro Tempore shall serve as an ex-officio member of all standing committees and his or her membership shall be in addition to the aforementioned limitations as to all committees but for the Committee on Committees and Rules. In the event that the President Pro Tempore is not participating in a standing committee meeting in their capacity as President Pro Tempore, then the role of serving as an ex-officio member of all standing committees shall fall to the Assistant President Pro Tempore, and his or her membership shall be in addition to the aforementioned limitations as to all committees but for the Committee on Committees and Rules.
In the event of the absence of the Committee Chair from the City or from a meeting of the committee or of the Council, or if the Committee Chair has recused under Rule 14, the Vice-Chair shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of the Committee Chair. Vouchers and payrolls may be signed only by the Committee Chair, or in their absence by the Vice-Chair, or by some person or persons designated by him or her. In the event of a vacancy in the chairmanship of a committee, caused by death, resignation or otherwise, the Vice-Chair shall act as Committee Chair until such time as the Council shall fill such vacancy in the chairmanship on the recommendation of the Committee on Committees and Rules.
A committee may, by majority vote of its full membership, create a permanent or temporary subcommittee. The membership, Chair and Vice-Chair of subcommittees shall be appointed by the Chair of the parent committee with the concurrence of a majority of the membership of the committee. Subcommittee jurisdiction shall be determined by the parent committee, but may not exceed the jurisdiction of the parent committee. Subcommittees shall report to their parent committee, and may be discharged from consideration of any matter only by a majority vote of the full membership of the parent committee. Matters may be referred to a subcommittee by the parent committee, or by the Chair of the parent committee.
Members, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of committees may be removed only by resolution of the Council adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of all the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected.
Special committees may be created by the Council only by resolution adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected.
Jurisdiction Of Committees.
RULE 37. The jurisdiction of each standing committee, in terms of legislation and administrative activities of its particular concern, shall be as follows:
- The Committee on Aviation shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to aviation and airports.
- The Committee on the Budget and Government Operations shall have jurisdiction over the expenditure of all funds appropriated and expended by the City of Chicago. The Committee shall also have jurisdiction over all matters concerning the organization, reorganization and efficient management of City government, and federal and state legislation and administrative regulations in which the City may have an interest.
- The Committee on Committees and Rules shall have jurisdiction over the Rules of Order and Procedure, the procedures of the Council and its committees, including disputes over committee jurisdiction and referrals, ward redistricting, elections and referenda, committee assignments, the conduct of Council members, the provision of services to the City Council body; matters affecting the City Clerk; and council service agencies, except the City Council Legislative Reference Bureau referenced in Rule 1. The Committee shall also have jurisdiction with regard to all corrections to the Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council.
- The Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity shall have jurisdiction over matters concerning the Department of Purchases, Contracts and Supplies, other City contracts, and matters concerning Business Enterprises owned or operated by People with Disabilities, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Minority-owned Business Enterprises, Veteran-owned Business Enterprises, Women-owned Business Enterprises, and other certification eligible contracting programs. The Committee also may review and hold hearings on the data specified in Section 2-92-660(v) of the Municipal Code of Chicago.
- The Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development shall have jurisdiction over those matters which directly affect the economic and technological expansion and development of the City and economic attraction to the City; the financing of economic development subsidies, including special service areas, tax incentives, and special assessments; and shall work with those public and private organizations that are similarly engaged. The Committee also shall have jurisdiction over the consideration, identification, goals, plan and approach to the annual and five year Capital Improvement Programs. The Committee may hold community hearings to determine the priorities to be considered in the formulation of such programs.
- The Committee on Education and Child Development shall have jurisdiction over matters generally related to the development of children and adolescents, the education of the residents of the City of Chicago and matters generally affecting the Chicago Board of Education and Community College District Number 508.
- The Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy shall have jurisdiction over all legislation relating to the abatement of air, water and noise pollution; solid waste collection and disposal; recycling and reuse of wastes; conservation of natural resources; and with all other matters not specifically included dealing with the improvement of the quality of the environment and the conservation of energy. The Committee shall also have jurisdiction over all ordinances, orders, resolutions and matters affecting public utilities with the exception of those matters over which jurisdiction is conferred herein upon the Committee on Transportation and Public Way.
- The Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight shall have jurisdiction over matters concerning the ethical operation of City government and responsibility for the enforcement of Chapter 2-156 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. The Committee may hold hearings related to ethical governance of the City. The Committee also has jurisdiction to review, and may hold community hearings regarding, reports and audits issued by the Inspector General.
- The Committee on Finance shall have jurisdiction over tax levies, industrial revenue bonds, general obligation bonds and revenue bond programs, revenue orders, ordinances and resolutions, the financing of municipal services and capital developments; and matters generally affecting the Department of Finance, the City Comptroller, City Treasurer and the solicitation of funds for charitable or other purposes on the streets and other public places.
- The Committee on Health and Human Relations shall have jurisdiction over the City's Department of Family and Support Services; health and sanitation matters affecting general health care, control of specific diseases, mental health, alcoholism and substance abuse, food, nutrition, and medical care of senior citizens and persons with disabilities, the Department of Health, the Bureau of Rodent Control and Chicago Animal Care and Control; matters relating to human rights and the Commission on Human Relations, and all matters generally affecting veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and the status of senior citizens and persons with disabilities in society.
- The Committee on Housing and Real Estate shall have jurisdiction over all housing, redevelopment and neighborhood conservation matters and programs (except Zoning and the Building Codes), City planning activities (except land use planning), development and conservation, matters generally affecting the Chicago Plan Commission (except land use planning), and the City's housing agencies. It shall also have jurisdiction over all acquisitions and dispositions of interest in real estate by the City, its agencies and departments. The Committee's jurisdiction includes all other acquisitions or dispositions of interest in real estate which the City Council is required to approve under state or federal law. The Committee shall have jurisdiction over all leases of real estate, or of space within buildings to which the City or any of its agencies, departments or offices, is a party.
- The Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights shall have jurisdiction over all matters relating to opportunities for, and the security and stability of, first-generation and second-generation immigrants and refugees living in Chicago, with a particular focus on the economic, education, and public health-related concerns of such persons.
- The Committee on License and Consumer Protection shall have jurisdiction over the licensing of persons, property, businesses and occupations and all matters relating to consumer protection, products liability, consumer fraud and all matters relating to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, except those matters affecting collective bargaining agreements, employee benefits and pensions.
- The Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety shall have jurisdiction over all orders, ordinances, resolutions and matters relating to regulating vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, on or off street parking, public safety, highways, grade separations, protected bicycle lanes, Chicago bicycle and pedestrian plans and studies, Chicago metropolitan area traffic studies and highway development, and matters generally affecting the Bureau of Street Traffic and the Bureau of Parking, the Police Traffic Bureau, and public and private organizations dealing with traffic and bicycle and pedestrian safety.
- The Committee on Police and Fire shall have jurisdiction over all matters relating to the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the ancillary agencies, boards, commissions and offices established to oversee, monitor, support and assist them, except for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. The committee’s jurisdiction shall not include matters affecting collective bargaining agreements, employee benefits and pensions, and violence prevention matters.
- The Committee on Public Safety shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to public safety in the City generally, including the safety of City residents, tourists and other visitors using the public ways, beaches, parks and other public property, the safety of individuals attending entertainment, cultural and other congregate events, the safety of employees and passengers in public and private modes of transportation, and the safety of Chicago youth in before-and-after-school settings and activities. The committee shall also have jurisdiction over matters relating to City government cybersecurity and matters relating to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and emergency city services generally (other than operation of emergency medical facilities), except those matters affecting collective bargaining agreements, employee benefits and pensions.
- The Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation shall have jurisdiction over all special events and related programs of the City, including parades, fests, tastes, community and neighborhood fairs. The Committee shall also have jurisdiction over those matters which affect the cultural growth of the City and its cultural institutions including matters generally affecting the Cultural Center of the Chicago Public Library. The Committee shall also have jurisdiction over all matters relating to the park system within the City, all matters generally affecting the Chicago Park District and all matters relating to the provision of recreational facilities within the City and shall work with those agencies, both public and private, that are similarly engaged.
- The Committee on Transportation and Public Way shall have jurisdiction over all matters relating to the Chicago Transit Authority, the subways and the furnishing of public transportation within the City by any and all means of conveyance. The Committee shall have jurisdiction over all orders, ordinances and resolutions affecting street naming and layout, the City map, privileges in public ways, special assessments and matters generally affecting the Bureau of Maps and Plats other agencies dealing with street and alley patterns and elevations, and the Board of Local Improvements.
- The Committee on Workforce Development shall have jurisdiction over collective bargaining agreements regardless of bargaining unit and regardless of department; employee benefits; matters affecting pensions of city employees, regardless of pension fund; and all other personnel matters generally relating to the City government, excepting claims under the Workers' Compensation Act. The Committee's jurisdiction shall also include efforts intended to expand the city's private workforce and to create increased job opportunities in the city's private sector through business attraction efforts, business retention efforts, relocation services, incentive programs, training and retraining programs, or any other means.
- The Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards shall have jurisdiction over all zoning matters and the operation of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the office of the Zoning Administrator; land use policy generally and land use recommendations of the Chicago Plan Commission and the Department of Housing and Planning and Development; building code ordinances and matters generally affecting the Department of Buildings; and designation, maintenance and preservation of historical and architectural landmarks. The Committee shall work in cooperation with those public and private organizations similarly engaged in matters affecting landmarks.
In the event that a department or agency mentioned in this Rule is renamed by ordinance, or a function of a department or agency is transferred to another department or agency by ordinance, the jurisdiction of the appropriate standing committee shall be interpreted to extend to the subject matter of the duties and responsibilities of the successor department or agency, until such time as this Rule is amended.
Discharge Of Special Committees.
RULE 38. On the acceptance of a final report from a special committee, the committee shall be discharged without a vote, unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the City Council.
Calling Of Committee Meetings; Quorum In Committees And Subcommittees; Reports Of “No Quorum”.
RULE 39. Except in cases of emergency, not less than three (3) days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays, shall intervene between the issuance of a call for a committee meeting and the date set in the call for that meeting, and each member shall attend promptly at the hour stated in the notice.
The Committee Chair shall have the authority to call meetings of such committee.
If a majority of the members of any standing committee make written request to the Committee Chair to call a meeting of the committee, and if the Committee Chair fails to act on such request for a period of three (3) days, the said majority members shall have authority to call a meeting of such committee by filing a written notice or call to that effect with the City Clerk. A copy of the request made by said Alderpersons to the Committee Chair shall be attached to such written notice or call.
One-half (½) of the total number of members of each standing committee (excepting from such total the President Pro Tempore, or the Assistant President Pro Tempore, when either is attending a committee meeting in that capacity as opposed to as a named member) shall constitute a quorum; a majority of the members appointed to each special committee and subcommittee which may be created shall constitute a quorum of such special committee or subcommittee. However, a quorum of the Committee on Finance and the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations shall be fifteen (15) members. A quorum of a joint committee shall be one-half (½) of the sum of the total number of the members of the committees which make up the joint committee, but only counting once, for purposes of determining both membership and quorum, a person who is a member of more than one committee.
Whenever any committee shall find itself unable to proceed with the business before it at any meeting because of the lack of a quorum, the remaining members of the committee shall be competent to adjourn or recess to a later time or date certain.
Notice Of Committee Meetings; Postings, And Requirements For Written Notice And Agenda.
RULE 40. Notice of all committee meetings shall be in written or electronic form to all members of the Council, all other persons who have filed with the committee a request for notice of its meetings, all departments of the city government which may be affected by the matters to be considered at the meeting, and to the general public by posting in the Office of the City Clerk, the Legislative Reference Bureau, the Municipal Reference Library and on the bulletin board in the Council Chamber. The notice shall state the day and hour of the meeting and shall contain a statement of the subject matter to be considered, or a statement that an agenda of the matters to be considered is available in the office of the committee, which agenda shall be prepared and distributed to all Alderpersons by the Committee Chair not less than forty-eight hours prior to the meeting. Notice of all subcommittee meetings shall be given to all members of the City Council.
Referring Of New Business To Committees; Report To Council When Committee Fails To Act.
RULE 41. All ordinances, orders, petitions, resolutions, motions, communications or other propositions shall be referred, without debate, to the appropriate committees and only acted upon by the City Council at a subsequent meeting, on the report of the committee having the same in charge; provided, however, that the following shall not be subject to this rule:
(a) Ordinances fixing the time for the next regular meeting of the City Council.
(b) Motions listed in Rule 21 and purely procedural motions.
(c) Resolutions determining the membership, Chair or Vice-Chair of Council committees, Vice- Mayor or President Pro Tempore, Assistant President Pro Tempore, or the Sergeant-At-Arms and his or her assistants.
In addition to those matters listed in Rule 41 which are not subject to referral to committee, all resolutions concerning deaths, congratulations, ceremonial and noncontroversial matters may be considered by the whole City Council without the suspension of the Rules of Order and Procedure and adopted as a group by a single motion to “Do Pass” at any regular meeting of the City Council upon recommendation of the Chair of the Committee on Finance or the Chair of the Committee on Committees and Rules herein so designated for the purpose of recommending passage of such agreed resolutions. Resolutions calling for the expenditure of funds or directing investigations shall not be subject to the agreed resolution procedures. Each matter so recommended shall be briefly described by subject and sponsor by the member(s) reporting agreed resolutions. Any matter on the Agreed Calendar shall be removed on the motion of any Alderperson and shall then be subject to the Rules of Order and Procedure of the City Council as provided in this Rule 41. For the purpose of facilitating the review of such resolutions, all matters to be considered shall be filed with the City Clerk forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the Council meeting at which they will be considered and made available to the Alderpersons selected to review such matters.
Nothing in this Rule 41 or the Rules of Order and Procedure of the City Council shall preclude the introduction or submission of ordinances, orders, resolutions, petitions, or other propositions into a committee of the City Council by an operating department, office, or agency in order to facilitate an expeditious hearing on said matter where an emergency exists. In addition, routine or repetitive matters may also be introduced directly into a committee of the City Council for hearing. This provision shall not apply to matters described in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this Rule.
Any member of a committee may propose an amendment to an ordinance or other proposition before the committee. An amendment filling in blanks, correcting spelling, correcting a typographical error or correcting punctuation may be made on the face of the ordinance or other proposition to be amended. An amendment for any other purpose shall be produced in a separate document, and shall set forth the entire section of the ordinance or proposition affected by the proposed amendment, with insertions and deletions indicated as provided in Rule 46. Except as otherwise provided herein, no committee shall vote on a proposed amendment, except an amendment on the face of an ordinance or other proposition as permitted by this paragraph of this Rule 41, until and unless a formal amendment complying with the requirements of this paragraph has been prepared and a copy presented to every committee member present. An exception shall be made for the form of amendments to line items within the annual appropriation ordinance or Community Development Block Grant ordinance; an amendment to either of those ordinances need list only the fund(s), department(s), and activity level(s) affected by the amendment, and shall also list the item(s) to be struck and the item(s) to be inserted or added.
Whenever any referred matter shall not have been reported back to the City Council by the committee to which referred, within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of referral, the Committee Chair shall at the written request of the sponsor submit a report in writing to the Council at its next regular meeting, giving a brief summary of the proceedings had in said committee in relation to such referred matter and stating the reasons for the failure or inability of the committee to report such referred matter back to the Council together with its conclusion thereon up to such time. Such report of the committee chairman shall be presented under the order of “Reports of Committees”.
Whenever any referred matter shall not have been reported back to the City Council by the committee to which referred, within a period of sixty (60) days from the date of referral, any Alderperson may move to discharge the committee from further consideration of that matter. In order to afford a Committee Chair an opportunity to convene a hearing on a pending matter and provide Alderpersons sufficient time to review such matter, no motion to discharge shall be called for a vote unless a written notice, identifying the matter, is delivered to, and time stamped by, the City Clerk and copies of such notice are delivered to all Alderpersons no later than by the close of business on the fifth business day prior to the City Council meeting. The motion to discharge shall be posted by the City Clerk no later than by the close of business on the fifth business day prior to the City Council meeting at which it is scheduled to be heard. The motion to discharge shall be made under the order of “Miscellaneous Business”, and shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected. No deferred or postponed matter, whether postponed pursuant to these rules or deferred pursuant to statute, may be called for a vote unless written notice, identifying each matter to be called for a vote, is delivered to, and time stamped by, the City Clerk and copies delivered to all Alderpersons at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the City Council meeting.
Procedure When Two Or More Committees Are Called.
Rule 42. When two (2) or more committees are called, the subject matter shall be referred, without debate, to the Committee on Committees and Rules, which shall recommend to which committee of the Council the subject matter shall be referred. In each instance, The Committee on Committees and Rules shall report its recommendation to the Council at the next regular meeting succeeding the meeting at which any matter involving a conflict of jurisdiction of committees shall have been referred to it.
Postponing Of Appointments Requiring Council Approval.
RULE 43. Communications as to appointments which require approval or concurrence by the Council shall be referred to the appropriate committee in accordance with these rules. Communications informing the Council as to appointments which do not require approval or concurrence by the Council shall be received and placed on file, unless other action is taken thereon.
Reports Of Committees.
RULE 44. All reports of committees (other than a Committee of the Whole, which may submit a verbal report through its Chair or other member) shall be addressed in writing “To the President and Members of the City Council”. They shall briefly describe the matter referred, and the conclusion shall be summed up in the form of an ordinance, order, resolution, recommendation or some other distinct proposition; and shall contain a statement showing the number of members of the committee who voted for and the number who voted against the recommendation contained in the report, and each member who has recused themselves under Rule 14 and the basis for such recused in detail.
Each subject-matter considered by a committee shall be presented to the City Council in a separate report except claims, payment of hospital and medical expenses of police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty, routine traffic matters and condominium refuse rebate claims.
Reports of all committees dealing with proposed ordinances, orders and resolutions shall recommend that such proposed ordinances, orders or resolutions “pass” or “do not pass”.
Each committee report recommending action by the City Council shall be presented to the Council by the Committee Chair or by any other member of the committee designated by the Committee Chair, or if the Committee Chair has recused under Rule 14, the Vice-Chair, or by any other member of the committee designated by the Vice-Chair, on the specific item from which a recusal was requested. The Committee Chair or member presenting the report may have up to five (5) minutes for the purpose of explaining the report, notwithstanding a motion or demand to defer and publish as provided by state law.
If a committee report recommends that the Council adopt or pass an ordinance, resolution or order, the report may be taken up and acted upon after its presentation, subject to deferral as provided by state law or postponed by appropriate action.
If a committee report recommends that the Council do not adopt or do not pass an ordinance, resolution or order, at the time such report is presented, or at the next meeting of the Council if action on such report has been deferred and published, such ordinance, resolution, or order shall be automatically tabled and may not be further considered, unless a member of the body moves to disapprove the committee report and such motion is adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected. The motion to disapprove the committee report may be postponed only until the next regular meeting of the Council, and may not be renewed thereafter. If the motion to disapprove is adopted, the ordinance, resolution or order shall be before the Council.
A committee may report a substitute for ordinances, resolutions and orders referred to it, and such substitute shall be reported with a “do pass” recommendation. Such committee report shall identify the matters referred to it for which its recommendation substitutes and all such matters shall be deemed recommended “do not pass”.
Records Of Proceedings Of Committees; Roll Call.
RULE 45. Each committee of the City Council shall cause to be kept a record of its proceedings, which record shall include all matters referred to that committee, all matters referred to subcommittees of that committee, hearings held on each such referred matter, reports and recommendations made by and materials received by the committee, and the attendance of each committee member at regularly scheduled committee meetings; and whenever a roll call is had by any committee the record shall plainly indicate the vote of each member thereon. A roll call shall be had on any matter at the request of any member of the committee. Committee records shall be filed on a monthly basis in, and posted online by, the Office of the City Clerk.
General Provisions Concerning Ordinances.
A. Introduction, Amendment And Printing Of Ordinances; Summarizing Of Ordinances In Journal.
All ordinances, orders and resolutions which are introduced in the City Council shall be submitted on paper or electronically in duplicate and the City Clerk shall deliver one (1) copy to the City Council Legislative Reference Bureau.
All such matters introduced shall be typed, printed, or submitted electronically, and the pages thereof shall be numbered. If the document is submitted electronically, the City Clerk shall provide a copy of the ordinance, order and/or resolution and transmit it to the appropriate committee. The City Clerk shall deliver to the City Council Committees the originals of the documents that are referred to each committee at each City Council meeting. Each matter introduced shall identify the sponsor and all co-sponsors. All ordinances introduced which propose to amend a section of the Municipal Code of Chicago or any general or special ordinance shall indicate all language or figures to be added to the existing ordinance by underlining such addition and language or figures to be omitted or repealed shall be struck through.
The City Clerk shall assign a sequential number to each proposed ordinance, resolution and order in accordance with a sequential numbering system for each type of such legislation established by the Clerk with the approval of the Committee on Committees and Rules. The City Clerk shall maintain continuous and up-to-date records of all matters introduced, and their status, and shall regularly report on such status, all of which shall be public records.
Ordinances, resolutions, or orders shall be promptly reproduced by the City Clerk, upon introduction, in sufficient quantities for distribution to each Alderperson, each elected City officer, the Law Department, the City Council Legislative Reference Bureau, each department or agency of the City affected thereby and for a reasonable number of copies to be made available to the public in the City Clerk’s office. Upon their adoption, the same publication requirement shall apply to amendments.
No ordinances, resolutions or orders, or amendments thereto, may be voted upon for adoption or passage, by the Council or by any committee, until electronic copies have been made available to the Alderpersons in attendance at such meeting. A printed copy must be provided to any Alderperson requesting one at a Council meeting, or to any committee member requesting one at a committee meeting.
After passage or adoption by the City Council, those ordinances, resolutions and orders required to be published by law shall be published in full in the Journal of the Proceedings, provided that resolutions and orders which are routine as to form and which may readily and completely be abstracted need not be published in full but may be so abstracted by the City Clerk in the Journal, unless the Council directs publication in full.
B. Vacation Of Streets, Et Cetera — Use Of Popular Legal Descriptions — Names Of Beneficiaries — Verification Of Legal Descriptions.
All ordinances for the vacation of streets, alleys or other public property in the City of Chicago shall contain, in addition to the legal description of the property sought to be vacated by such ordinances, the popular description of the property, giving, in the case of a lot, the street number, in the case of an alley, the names of the streets surrounding the block or blocks in which such alley is located, and in the case of a street the names of the two (2) nearest intersecting cross streets. Such popular descriptions and the names of the beneficiary or beneficiaries shall be published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the meeting at which any such ordinance is introduced.
Before any vacation ordinance is finally acted upon by the Council the legal description of the property sought to be vacated shall be verified by the Superintendent of Maps.
C. Fixing Compensation To Be Paid To The City Of Chicago.
Before fixing the amount of compensation to be paid to the City of Chicago for or in connection with or in consideration of the vacation of any street or alley or other public way, or for or in connection with or in consideration of any grant of a private or special privilege in, upon, over or under any street, alley, other public way, public dock, wharf, pier or other public ground, the committee having any such matter under consideration shall, except in the case of a franchise grant, obtain from the City Comptroller an opinion or recommendation in writing as to the amount of compensation which should properly be charged; and such opinion or recommendation shall be attached to the committee’s report when submitted to the City Council.
D. Grants Of Rights In Streets To Public Utility Corporations — To Be Considered Section By Section — Attaching Of Maps Or Plats.
All ordinances granting rights in streets to public utility corporations which relate to or include within their provisions anything concerning the vacation, closing, opening, crossing otherwise than on the surface, or undermining of streets or alleys shall after the same have been approved by the special or standing committees of the Council to which they were referred and after having been deferred and published, be considered section by section when called up for final passage; and no such ordinance shall be passed unless it has attached thereto as a part of same a complete and adequate map or plat showing in detail how the streets and alleys involved will be affected thereby.
E. Application To Accompany Any Proposed Zoning Reclassification Ordinances.
Any proposed ordinance to amend the Chicago Zoning Ordinance for the purpose of reclassifying any area or areas, introduced in the City Council, shall be accompanied by an application in triplicate in accordance with a resolution adopted by the City Council July 15, 1954, page 7927 of the Journal of the Proceedings, as amended.
Adoption Of “Robert’s Rules Of Order Newly Revised”.
RULE 47. The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in the latest published edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised” shall govern the Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the special rules of this Council.
Temporary Suspension Of Rules; Amendments Of Rules.
RULE 48. These rules may be temporarily suspended by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected, and shall not be repealed, altered or amended unless by concurrence of a majority of all the Alderpersons entitled by law to be elected.
RULE 49. There shall be elected by the members of the Council a Sergeant-at-Arms of this Council and such assistants as the Council may direct who shall preserve order, obey the directions of the Council and of the Chair, and perform all duties usually appertaining to the office of Sergeant-at-Arms of deliberative assemblies; provided that such Sergeant-at-Arms and assistants shall be removable at the will of the Council by resolution duly adopted. The Sergeant-at-Arms and/or their designee, shall have the authority to terminate the broadcast of the proceedings of the City Council, and any of its committees, in the event of: (i) an emergency; (ii) an act of God; and/or (iii) any other extraordinary event which, in the judgment of the Sergeant-at-Arms, would not reflect the City Council proceedings or otherwise not be appropriate for public broadcast. The Sergeant-at-Arms, and/or their designee, shall restore the broadcast of the proceedings, after the cessation of such event, in an expeditious manner.
Censure Of Members; Expulsion Of Members.
RULE 50. Any member acting or appearing in a lewd or disgraceful manner, or who uses opprobrious, obscene or insulting language to or about any member of the Council, or who does not obey the order of the Chair shall be, on motion, censured by a majority vote of the members present, or expelled by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members elected. In case of censure the Sergeant-at-Arms, their assistants, or any person acting under direction of the Chair shall cause the member censured to vacate their seat and come before the bar of the Council and receive censure from the Chair.
RULE 51. Reserved.
Special Pamphlet For Rules Of Order And Procedure.
RULE 52. The City Clerk shall cause the Rules of Order and Procedure for Years 2023-2027 adopted by the City Council to be published on a website owned by the City of Chicago, and printed in a separate pamphlet for distribution to members of the City Council and the general public, no later than 60 days after these Rules have been adopted.
Floral Displays And Decorations.
RULE 53. Floral displays or decorations shall not be permitted in the Council Chamber during the session of the Council except the customary single floral display on a deceased Alderperson’s desk during the official period of mourning.
Cellular Telephones And Electronic Devices.
RULE 54. Cellular telephones and other personal electronic devices that will emit a sound shall be set on silence or vibrate mode at all times while a person is in the City Council Chambers or in any other room that is utilized for a committee meeting while a City Council or committee meeting is in progress. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall post signs in appropriate places to advise the public of this Rule.
Broadcast of City Council And Committee Proceedings.
RULE 55. The proceedings of the City Council and City Council Committees shall be broadcasted or aired via the use of or transmission by the Internet and/or by any other available transmission process, subject to the following parameters:
(a) The broadcast of a meeting shall begin immediately preceding the start or reconvening of a meeting and shall conclude immediately following the adjournment or recess of that meeting.
(b) The subject of the broadcast shall be confined to the individual recognized by the Presiding Officer of the meeting, pursuant to Rule 7 of the Rules of Order, except in those instances in which there is a visual presentation, or the debate or discussion is directed towards a subject located in another area of the Council Chambers, or takes place in a smaller hearing room, in which case the field of view may alternate between speaker and subject or presentation, or include both. Examples of such instances include congratulatory or memorial resolutions read pursuant to suspension of the Rules, departmental or other witness testimony in committee that includes a visual presentation, and cabinet and commission appointments.
(c) The City Clerk shall make available for public viewing on its website recordings of City Council and Committee meetings for at least four (4) years, and beyond that time shall maintain such recording for a period of time consistent with the Local Records Act, codified at 520 ILCS 205/1 et seq.
Privilege Denied For Certain Ex-Alderpersons.
RULE 56. An ex-Alderperson who has been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury, or other felony shall not be permitted within the bar of the City Council Chambers, including the privilege of being on the Council floor.
RULE 57. In addition to other duties provided in these Rules, the President Pro Tempore, or in their absence, the Assistant President Pro Tempore, shall assist the various Committee Chairs in complying with the requirements of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Illinois Open Meetings Act, and the Illinois Local Records Act, as amended.
RULE 58. Any member of the general public may address orally, in person or from a remote location by means of video, audio, telephonic or other electronic connections, or in writing, any committee of, or meeting of, the City Council at any meeting required to be open to the public under the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1, et seq.); provided that oral public comment at meetings of the City Council shall be subject to the time limits set forth below. Any person who orally addresses a committee of, or meeting of, the City Council shall:
(1) limit their remarks to three minutes, and if the person intends to address more than one item, use that time, at the Chair’s direction, to address one, or several, such items;
(2) limit their remarks to the subject matter appearing on the agenda of the meeting;
(3) refrain from profane language, obscene conduct, or disruptive comments;
(4) submit their request to speak pursuant to a protocol promulgated by the Sergeant-at-Arms; and
(5) comply with the order of the Chair of the meeting.
Any person who submits written comments shall do so in conformity with the applicable provisions of the Sergeant-at-Arms’ protocol.
The Chair of the meeting has authority and discretion to: (i) curtail or limit public comment if the commenter fails to comply with this Rule, and (ii) allow reasonable variances from the three-minute time limit in appropriate, non-discriminatory, circumstances. Public comment at meetings of the City Council, except for the City Council meeting that includes the annual public hearing on the budget, shall be limited to a total of 30 minutes.
RULE 59. All public meetings of the City Council and its committees may be conducted remotely by means of video, audio, telephonic or other electronic connection (“remote meeting”) in accordance with subsection (e) of Section 7 of the Open Meeting Act, codified at 5 ILCS 120/7 (e). A member who attends a remote meeting is considered present for purposes of Rule 19.
For purposes of conducting a remote meeting, the terms “written”, “in writing”, “document” and “copy” in these Rules of Order and Procedure includes printed or electronic means, and a rule that requires an instrument to be handed to another member or the Presiding Officer may be accomplished by electronic transmission.
If, during a disaster declaration, the City Council or any of its committees holds an in-person meeting instead of a remote meeting as allowed in this Rule, the Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms are authorized to determine the location from which any member of the general public may address the City Council or any of its committees at such a meeting in order to protect the health and safety of the public.
Outside of emergencies, an Alderperson may attend a City Council or committee meeting remotely in accordance with subsections (a) through (d) of Section 7 of the Open Meetings Act, codified at 5ILCS 120/7(a-d). If a quorum of the members of the City Council or a committee is physically present, a majority of that quorum may allow a member of that body to attend the meeting by audio or video conference if the member is prevented from physically attending because of personal illness or disability; employment or the business of the public body; or a family or other emergency. If an Alderperson wishes to attend a meeting by other means, the Alderperson must provide the Clerk, regarding a City Council meeting, or Committee Chair, regarding a committee meeting, sufficient notice to make provision for remote participation, unless such notice is impractical.
To the extent of any inconsistency between this Rule and any other provision of these Rules of Order and Procedure, this rule shall prevail.