A Resolution is the official expression of the opinion or will of a legislative body.
The practice of submitting and voting on resolutions is a typical part of business in Wood Dale by our City Council. The City uses resolutions for two purposes. First, resolutions express their consensus on matters of public policy: lawmakers routinely deliver criticism or support on a broad range of social issues, legal rights, court opinions, and even decisions by the Executive Branch. Second, they pass resolutions for internal, administrative purposes. Resolutions are not laws; they differ fundamentally in their purpose. However, under certain circumstances resolutions can have the effect of law.
In all legislative bodies, the process leading to a resolution begins with a a formal proposal called a motion. The rules specify what number of votes the resolution must attract to be passed. If successful it becomes the official position of the Wood Dale's City Council.
As a spontaneous expression of opinion, a resolution is intended to be timely and to have a temporary effect. Typically resolutions are used when passage of a law is unnecessary or unfeasible. The resolution merely asserts an opinion that lawmakers want to emphasize. Thus, for example, state and federal laws already criminalize illicit drugs, but municipalities have frequently passed resolutions decrying illegal drug use. Additionally, resolutions are common in times of emergency.
In addition to delivering statements for public consumption, resolutions also play an important role in the administration of legislatures. Typically the Council also uses them to conduct housekeeping: resolutions can thank a member for service.