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Frequently Asked Questions
About the State Government and the City Council


Who makes up the Executive Branch?
The Executive Branch consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Agencies and their staffs. The Governor serves a four-year term.

Who makes up the Legislative Branch?
The Legislative Branch consists of two houses of the New York State Legislature:

The New York State Senate has sixty-two members. The majority party elects the Majority Leader, who holds comparable power to the Assembly Speaker. The Majority Leader is elected at the beginning of each legislative term, unless there is an unexpected vacancy. The minority party also elects a leader who is referred to as the Minority Leader.

The New York State Assembly consists of one hundred and fifty members. The majority party elects the Assembly Speaker and the minority party elects the Assembly Minority Leader.

The Senate and the Assembly members of the legislature are elected to two-year terms, which are held on even years.

How does a bill become a law?
When the concept of a possible law is developed, efforts are made to interested members of the legislature to introduce it as a “bill”. A member of the legislature in each house may sponsor a bill. However, to become law the bill must be introduced and passed in both houses, and be signed by the Governor.



Who makes up the City Council?
The City Council consists of fifty-one members who represent the five boroughs. Council members are elected to four-year terms.

What is the Stated Meeting?
The Stated Meeting is when the full Council meets twice a month, with the exception of July and August in which they meet once a month. Generally, stated meetings occur to vote on pieces of legislation passed out of committees.

How does a bill become a law on the city level?
A Council member introduces legislation at the stated meeting, which then goes to the appropriate Council committee. If the committee passes the legislation, it goes back to the full council to vote on at a stated meeting. If the legislation is passed by the full Council, it then goes to the Mayor for signature and becomes law. If the Mayor vetoes the legislation, the Council could override his veto by two-thirds majority vote.

How often are committees required to hold meetings?
Committees are required to meet at least twice a year regarding oversight of agencies under their jurisdiction and when necessary to discuss legislation.