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(1) Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced by bill. Every ordinance, except annual budget ordinances and general codifications and revisions of City ordinances, shall contain not more than one subject which shall be clearly and adequately expressed in its title.
(2) Before a bill shall be considered by the Council it shall be referred to a committee, considered at a public hearing, reported by the committee, printed as reported, and distributed to the members of the Council and made available to the public.
(3) No bill shall be so altered or amended during its passage as to change its original purpose. Bills amended shall be printed as amended for the use of the members of the Council and for the information of the public.
(4) After its printing, either as reported or as amended, and its distribution, every bill shall lie over for at least five days before the final vote is taken.
(5) Notice of public hearings on bills and notice of bills reported from committee shall be given by advertising in the three daily newspapers of the City having the largest paid circulation, the title of the bill, and in the case of a public hearing, the time and place of the hearing, not less than five days before the public hearing or before the bill comes up for final consideration, as the case may be. In addition, such other notice may be given as will bring public hearings or reported bills to the attention of interested citizens. There need be no advertisement of ordinances after their passage. Council may by ordinance adopted by a vote of two-thirds of all of its members specify different or additional requirements for providing notice of public hearings on bills and notice of bills reported from committee, in accordance with applicable law. Any such ordinance may include a requirement that notice be posted on the City's website. 7
(6) When any bill is on final passage, votes shall be taken by ayes and nays and the names of the councilmembers voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of proceedings. 8
(7) No bill shall become an ordinance unless a majority of all the members of the Council be recorded as voting in its favor.
Sources: Act of June 25, 1919, P.L. 581, Article XVI, Section 6; Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article III, Section 3.
Purposes: 1. One of the main purposes sought to be accomplished is to prevent the hasty consideration and enactment of ordinances before citizens and the members of Council themselves have had an opportunity to be heard on the subject matter and to consider the wisdom of the proposed legislation.
Thus, upon its introduction, a bill must be referred to a committee, considered at a public hearing, at which citizens may testify, reported out by the committee, printed as reported, distributed to the members of the Council and made available to the public. At least five days must elapse following the reporting out or amending of a bill before a final vote is taken. Notice by newspaper advertising must be given of public hearings on bills and of bills reported from committee. Ordinances need not be advertised after their passage.
2. The one-subject limitation follows the comparable provision in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Article III, Section 3.
3. No bill can be finally passed without recording the names of each Councilman who voted for and against it.
4. Advertising is required only of the titles of bills on which hearings are to be held and which are reported out from committee. This will give adequate notice of pending legislation since the subject matter of every proposed ordinance must be clearly and adequately specified in its title. The Act of 1874 (May 23, P.L. 230, Section 5), requiring the advertising of the full text of all ordinances enacted, is superseded. This does not prevent the Council from continuing the practice should the Council deem it still to be necessary.