Glossary of terms; explanation of processes; and general administrative questions and contact info.


Amendment: Change or addition to a bill that is still in consideration or already been made into a law. Members can introduce amendments to a bill before voting on it during its first reading.

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute: An amendment to a bill that actually replaces the entire text of the original bill.

Contracts: DC Code § 2-352.02 requires that any District government agency contracts for more than $1 million during a 12-month period must be approved by the Council.

Dais: The raised platform where the Councilmembers sit in the Council Chamber and in other hearing rooms.

Engrossment: After the Council votes on a bill after its First Reading, the bill becomes Engrssed. By this point, the bill has been through the committee process and undergone discussion and is now in its final form to be submitting to the Council for a final vote.

Enrollment: The final copy of a bill or resolution that has been passed by the Council (for bills, after two readings; for resolutions, just one), has been signed by the Chairman and the Mayor, and approved by Congress.

FOIA: The District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) DC Official Code §§ 2-531 et seq., provides that any person has the right to request access to public records. All public bodies of the District government are required to disclose public records, except for those records, or portions of records, that are protected from disclosure by the exemptions found at DC Official Code § 2-534. Please visit our FOIA page for more information about how to submit requests to the Council.

Hearing: When a committee review a bill, it will normally conduct a hearing concerning the subject matter of the bill so the committee can receive testimony from residents and government officials in support of and against the bill.

Introduction: This is the first version of a bill, after it has been introduced by a Councilmember.

Proposed Resolution: Resolutions are used to express simple determinations, decisions, or directions of the Council of a special or temporary character, and to approve or disapprove proposed actions of a kind historically or traditionally transmitted by the Mayor and certain governmental entities to the Council pursuant to an existing law.  Resolutions are effective after only one reading of the Council and do not require mayoral or congressional review.

Roundtable: This is essentially the same as a hearing but requires less advance notice to the public.


Read here about how a bill becomes a law.


Legislative Meetings

Hearings & Roundtables

Public Testimony

First Reading

Second Reading

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