Legislative process

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government comprises the Mayor, Vice Mayor, two at-large council members, and 12 council members who each representing a city district.

This group writes, votes and passes legislation for the mayor to sign. Here is how that process works.

Step one

Councilmembers, Committee chairs, or Vice Mayor refer an item to the appropriate committee.

There are four committees:

  • Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee
  • Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee
  • General Government and Planning Committee
  • Social Services and Public Safety Committee

Step two

The item is presented and discussed in committee.

Items can be in committee for months or even years. Committees are where the most information about an item is typically shared. This is also when items are researched, workshopped and ironed out. Once it is ready, a Councilmember on the committee motions to vote on the item. The item then can pass or fail based on the vote.

Committee vote

About a month passes before the item is moved to the Council Work Session. Committees can read an item out more quickly with a motion and vote.

Step three

Item is reported out in Council Work Session.

  • Reporting out a committee-referred item gives other councilmembers a chance to weigh in on an item.
  • Sometimes items are placed directly into Work Sessions, bypassing committees.
  • This is also the first opportunity for public input through public comment.


Once presentations, discussions and any amendments are made to the item, Councilmembers will motion for a vote.

Work session vote

Up to ten days pass then the item is placed on the Council Meeting Docket for first reading.

Step four

Council Docket First Reading

  • No vote happens after the first reading before the council.
  • Sometimes, the council can suspend its rules to immediately give an item a second reading.
  • This is another opportunity for public input through public comment.

Step five

A week after the first reading, a second reading of the item happens during the Council Meeting.

  • This is another opportunity for public comment.
  • A formal vote is taken.


Based on the vote, the item either passes or fails. It typically passes if an item has made it this far.


If you are interested in attending any of these meetings, you can find them on the city calendar.