Local Legislation

Article III, Section I, Paragraph I of the Constitution provides that the ‘legislative power’ of the state is vested in the General Assembly. The term ‘legislative power’ refers to the ability to enact law. In addition to legislative power being vested in the legislature, Article III, Section VI, Paragraph III of the Constitution prohibits the General Assembly from abridging or limiting its powers.

The constitution provides for two basic types of law. The first type of law is general law. Under Article III, Section VI, Paragraph IV(a), a general law has uniform operation across the state and affects matters on a state-wide basis. These laws are compiled in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A).

The second type of law is a local law. A local law typically affects only a single political subdivision such as a county. Under Article III, Section VI, Paragraph IV(a), a local law typically cannot be enacted in any case for which provision has been made by existing general law.

There are two basic ways of enacting local laws which affect a specific county. The first is by home rule ordinance of a county and the second is by local law of the General Assembly.

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