Legislation Passed

City Hall

gravelUnless otherwise provided by state law, Charter, or ordinance, the favorable vote of six of the eleven Supervisors is required to approve ordinances, resolutions or non-parliamentary motions. Ordinances require consideration at two separate meetings with at least five days intervening, a first reading and a final passage. Resolutions which have not been referred to committee may only be adopted by unanimous vote of all Supervisors present on the day of their introduction. The Clerk of the Board shall publish at the rear of the Rules of Order a list of actions, which require more than a majority vote of the Supervisors present.

Resolution
A policy statement to express approval or disapproval.
Ordinance
Legislation which amend municipal codes and make laws.
Motion
A formal proposal for action.

Approval Process

Pursuant to the Charter, no later than the day following final passage or adoption by the Board, the Clerk of the Board (Clerk) shall transmit to the Mayor ordinances and resolutions with the record of Supervisors who voted for or against the legislation or were absent or excused. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of legislation, the Mayor shall return the legislation to the Clerk of the Board. If the 10th day is a weekday, the Mayor has until 5:00 p.m. on that day to return legislation. If the 10th day is a weekend, the Mayor, attested by a witness, must sign legislation by midnight on the 10th day and return to Clerk of the Board on the following Monday by 8:00 a.m.

The Mayor has three choices in accordance with Board Rule 2.14:

  1. Sign the legislation, in which case it becomes law in accordance with Board Rule 2.16 relating to the effective date of legislation.

  2. Return the legislation unsigned, in which case the legislation becomes law at the end of the 10-day period for consideration by the Mayor in accordance with Board Rule 2.16 relating to the effective date of legislation. If the Mayor informs the Clerk in writing that he or she is waiving the remainder of the 10-day period, then the legislation is deemed approved on the date the Clerk receives the written waiver.

  3. Disapprove and veto the legislation, in which case the Board may override the veto and approve the legislation within 30 days by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the full Board, eight votes in accordance with Board Rule 2.16 relating to the effective date of the legislation.

Final Action

The Final Action date varies from the Effective Date for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, those relating to ordinances listed under ‘Effective Dates’ below. For resolutions, the Final Action date is the approval date when the Mayor executes the legislation. For motions, the Final Action date is the approval date and action by the Board of Supervisors. For charter amendments and initiative ordinances, the Final Action date is, if and when, the amendment is approved by the voters of the City and County of San Francisco.

Effective Dates

Board Rule 2.16 states an ordinance concerning purely administrative matters, ordinances calling elections, appropriating money and levying taxes, and such other ordinances as provided by the Charter, go into effect when the Mayor returns the approved legislation to the Clerk of the Board; or, if not signed by the Mayor, at the end of the 10-day period for consideration by the Mayor, or upon receipt of the Mayor’s written waiver of the remainder of the 10-day period; or after a veto is overridden. Except where provided otherwise by law, all other ordinances shall go into effect at the beginning of the 31st day after such actions if no referendum petition is filed. Resolutions take effect immediately, unless otherwise specified within the resolution, upon approval by the Mayor, or, if not signed by the Mayor, at the end of the 10-day period for consideration by the Mayor, or immediately after a veto is overridden.