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A Glossary of Terms & Definitions




An action by the Board of Legislators that has only one purpose and a one time effect, for example, a bond act that approves borrowing money to repave a county road.



A list of the topics to be to be discussed and/or voted on at a meeting.


BUDGET The amount of money the Legislature has agreed can be spent by the County. The County Executive presents a budget every year that lists how the money will be spent that the County collects in taxes, fines and from the State and Federal governments. The Legislature must approve the budget.


CAUCUS A meeting of the members of the same political party to develop positions on issues. 

Executive Branch

EXECUTIVE BRANCH The part of government that is in charge of running the County and carrying out the county laws. All of the County departments and commissioners are responsible to the County Executive.

Legislative Branch

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH The part of government in Westchester County that makes the laws. This branch is called the Board of Legislators.

Local Law

LOCAL LAW A rule or law passed by the Board of Legislators and signed by the County Executive that governs the way something be done in Westchester County. For example, according to local law it is not legal to drive a car in Westchester County while holding a cell phone in your hand.

Override a Veto

OVERRIDE A VETO If the county executive disapproves of or vetos an act or local law by the Board of Legislators, it still may pass if 2/3 of the legislature votes in favor of it.


PARTY A group of people who have a similar point of view about what is important for County government to accomplish. The two parties that have currently elected members to the Board are the same as on the national level of government – the Democratic and Republican parties.


PROPOSAL Suggestion for a new law or resolution that is being discussed in committee or by the full Board but has not yet been voted on.

Public Hearing

PUBLIC HEARING The opportunity for people to speak at a Board of Legislators meeting for or against any proposed law before the legislators vote on it.


RESOLUTION A request passed by the Board of Legislators that an action be take at another level of government. Since Westchester legislators cannot make laws for any place other than Westchester County, they sometimes pass resolutions requesting or supporting action at the State or Federal level.


SPONSOR The legislator who has presented a suggestion for action by the Board.


TERM The length of time an individual is elected to serve in a position.  The County Board members are elected to two year terms.


VETO The refusal by the County Executive to sign an act or local law passed by the Board of Legislators that would make it official.


How Does an Idea Become a Law?


Click HereClick Here for Recycling Projects

recycle design

Design by Ridge St. School student based on recycling triangle, symbol of recycling

I’m wishing on a star
and trying to believe,
That when I’m
all grown up
the earth will have
what I need.
Unless we all recycle,
reuse and never waste
The earth will be an empty, dirty place.

Third grade student,
Mamaroneck Ave. School, White Plains

I will use a re-usable lunch box that I will bring to school everyday. I will put all my food in re-usable containers. I will bring a cloth napkin from home that I will wash and use again and again. I will bring silverware from home that I will wash and use again. I will pack just enough food to fill me up. I will not pack too much so nothing goes to waste.

Third grade student, Ridge Street School, Rye Brook