RESOLVED, That the following rules be and the same are hereby adopted as the rules of this senate for the years 1997 and 1998.
RULES OF THE SENATE
As used in these Rules, the following terms are defined as follows:
1.1 "Bill " shall include any act, resolve, resolution or petition which comes before the senate for consideration.
1.2 "Day " as used in these rules is intended and shall be construed to mean one full legislative day of the same session. In no event shall one (1) calendar day be construed as two (2) legislative days.
1.3 "President of the senate " or "the president" refers to the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode Island.
1.4 "Public bill " shall include all bills except:
(i) those which pertain to a particular city or town;
(ii) those which relate to an individual's pension and retirement;
(iii) those which pertain to restoration of corporation charters, and to amendments to authorized holdings by non-profit organizations of a charitable, civic, library or like nature;
(iv) resolutions memorializing congress, or of congratulations, or expressing sympathy or condolences, and all resolutions requesting the several departments of state government to grant some privilege, consideration or relief.
1.5 "Prime sponsor " shall be that senator whose signature first appears upon the bill.
1.6 " Reading Clerk " is the person elected to that position under provisions of section 22-3-2 of the general laws who shall, at the direction of the presiding officer, read to the chamber any communication to the senate, resolution, bill or other document and who shall, at the direction of the presiding officer, except for section 4.4 hereof, date the bills and other documents before the senate, date recording thereon the action taken and/or the disposition thereof. The reading clerk also shall, at the direction of the senate, amend any bill and transmit any bill to the house of representatives and perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the presiding officer and/or the majority leader.
1.7 "Recording Clerk " is the person elected to that position under provisions of section 22-3-2 of the general laws who shall, at the direction of the presiding officer, record the proceedings of the senate in a journal, signing said journal as recording clerk, and who shall, upon their referral, deliver bills and other documents to their respective committees; hold and maintain in good order any bill assigned to the calendar or the consent calendar, and transmit any bill or document to the governor. The recording clerk also shall perform those duties prescribed in other sections hereof and those which may from time to time be prescribed by the majority leader.
2.1 Presiding Officer.
The president of the senate shall, unless absent from the chamber, be the presiding officer of the sessions of the senate. In the absence of the president from the chair, the president pro tempore shall perform all the duties and be clothed with all the powers of the presiding officer. In the absence of both the president and president pro tempore, the deputy president pro tempore shall perform all the duties of and be clothed with all the powers of the presiding officer. In case of a vacancy in the office of president, president pro tempore and deputy president pro tempore, or in case all officers are absent at the hour to which the senate stands adjourned, the reading clerk shall call the senate to order, and shall preside until a president pro tempore is elected, which election shall be the first order of business. In the absence of the president, president pro tempore, deputy president pro tempore and the reading clerk, less than a quorum may elect a president pro tempore, who shall declare a lack of quorum and continue the session until the next day.
2.2 Duties of the Presiding Officer.
The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum in and about the senate chamber during the senate session in order to prevent interference with the senate's business and deliberations. The presiding officer may speak in preference to the senators, shall decide all questions of order without debate and shall declare all votes. The assignment of bills to committee shall be at the discretion of the president pro tempore or his/her deputy subject to rule 4.5.
2.3 Appealing the Ruling of Presiding Officer.
Any senator may appeal the ruling of the presiding officer by rising as soon as the ruling is made, even though another has the floor and, without waiting to be recognized by the chair, stating, "I appeal the ruling of the chair," and upon such appeal being seconded, the presiding officer shall immediately and without debate put the question, "Shall the ruling of the chair be sustained?", which question shall be decided by majority vote of the senators present and voting. Once sustained, the ruling shall not be subject to another appeal on the same point.
ORDER OF BUSINESS ON THE SENATE FLOOR
3.1 Commencement of Daily Session.
The presiding officer shall take the chair each day at the hour to which the senate shall have adjourned, call the senators to order, and record attendance by electronic roll call. Upon late arrival, a senator may report his or her presence to the recording clerk who shall record the senator's attendance in the journal.
3.2 Reading the Journal.
The reading clerk of the senate shall, at the commencement of the session of each day, read the proceedings of the previous day, unless such reading is dispensed with by a majority of the senators present and voting.
3.3 Daily Business .
After the reading of the proceedings of the previous day the order of business shall be as follows:
(1) Introduction of guests
(2) Reports of committees
(3) Introduction and reference of new business
(4) Unfinished business
(5) Consideration of House transmittals
(6) Consent calendar
(8) Introduction of guests
(9) Personal privilege
(10) Unanimous consent
(11) Daily adjournment
3.4 Final Adjournment.
The last order of business of the senate shall be the vote in conformity with the resolution of final adjournment which must be carried by a majority vote of the senators present and voting.
3.5 Time for Sessions.
Unless otherwise provided for by agreement of the majority leader and minority leader, sessions of the senate shall convene at 4:00 p.m. All sessions must adjourn at or before 11:00 p.m.
ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS
4.1 Form of Bills.
Every bill offered which is intended to amend any part or parts of an existing statute, any part or parts intended to be stricken shall be contained in the bill and by appropriate mechanical mark, struck through. All new matter contained in the bill shall be underlined, underscored or printed in italics so that the new matter shall be easily discerned. If the bill contains all new matter constituting a totally new law or a totally new section, and the bill itself so indicates, no underlining, underscoring or italics shall be required. Every bill containing a commission to which appointments shall be made shall be indicated in the title of such bill.
No bill without a body or substantive content shall be introduced at any time, nor shall a substitute bill be accepted which is not consistent with the title and substance of the original bill. In the event a bill is amended or substituted by a committee, the sponsor or sponsors of that bill may elect, in writing, to have their names disassociated from said bill and the committee report shall reflect this election.
All bills introduced on behalf of any general officer, branch, department or division of state government shall be stamped on the face sheet thereof with the title of the general officer or the name of the branch, department or division on whose behalf the bill is introduced.
4.2 Explanation of Bills.
There shall be attached to each bill a brief explanation thereof and the explanation of such bill shall indicate the proposed changes, and/or the statute or existing law which such bill purports to amend. There shall also be attached to each resolution which proposes the amendment of any part or parts of the constitution of this state a copy of any part or parts of the constitution which would be amended thereby.
4.3 Copies of Bills.
Each bill introduced shall be accompanied by not less than eighteen (18) copies thereof, with said copies delivered by the recording clerk to the office of the majority leader for subsequent distribution to the legislative council, the state library, and such other agencies and persons as determined by the majority leader. Nothing in this section shall prevent a senator from obtaining a preliminary draft of legislation for his/her review prior to introduction.
A bill may be filed by any Senator or Senator-elect by registered mail or in person with the recording clerk at any time from November 15 to the day prior to the commencement of the regular annual session. The recording clerk shall immediately date and number such bill, present the bill to the president pro tempore for the purposes of assigning it to committee, order it printed, as required by section 4.11 hereof, and make said bill available for first reading on the second day of the succeeding session.
4.5 Filing with Recording Clerk.
All senators desiring to introduce a bill shall file the bill with the recording clerk not later than the time at which time the Presiding Officer calls the senate to order. The recording clerk shall transmit to the office of the President Pro Tempore all bills on the day of their introduction. On the day of introduction, the President Pro Tempore shall, upon adjournment, assign bills to committee. The recording clerk shall cause all bills introduced to be published in the Senate Journal for that day. On the next legislative day, any Senator may object to the committee assignment for any bill introduced during the previous legislative day. Upon objection being made, the Presiding Officer shall assign the bill to the committee requested by the senator making the objection, provided however that if another senator objects to any assignment or proposed assignment of the bill, then the Presiding Officer shall call for a vote of the Senate on any motion for assignment which has been made and seconded, such motion requiring a majority vote of those Senators present and voting for assignment to a particular committee. First reading of all such bills and resolutions shall be by acceptance of the bill and the committee assignment.
4.6 Deadline for Introductions.
No public bill shall be introduced in the senate after February 6, 1997 for the year 1997 and February 5, 1998 for the year 1998, except by consent of a majority of the Senators present and voting.
4.7 Omnibus Claims Against the State and Forfeitures of Charters.
All claims against the state in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or less shall be presented in omnibus acts and all acts seeking to vacate the forfeiture of a charter previously granted under the laws of this state shall be presented in omnibus acts. In both instances these acts shall be placed upon the consent calendar.
4.8 Resolutions of Congratulations and Condolences.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of these rules, all resolutions of congratulations or expressing sympathy or condolences except with respect to former and present members of the general assembly, general officers, members of the judiciary and elected state or federal officials, shall be in order for introduction and consideration on the last legislative day of each week, unless otherwise ordered by the majority leader. Said resolution of congratulations and condolences shall not require concurrent action; upon passage, shall be forthwith transmitted to the secretary of state, and an appropriate notice of the action of the senate thereon shall be forwarded, as requested in the resolution, by the secretary of state. One formal resolution may include all the expressions of sympathy or congratulations of the several senators.
4.9 Enactment of Laws.
The concurrence of the two houses in the same session shall be necessary for the enactment of all bills except for senate resolutions.
4.10 Printing Requirements.
4.10-1 Public Bills.
No public bill shall be considered upon its merits unless it has been reproduced and distributed to the members at least two (2) days prior to its consideration on the merits, except any public bill passed by the senate and amended by the house; provided that the amended public bill shall be reproduced and distributed to the senators before consideration.
4.10-2 Committee Amendments.
No public bill amended in a committee of the senate shall be considered upon the senate floor unless it has been reproduced and distributed to the senators.
4.10-3 Materially Altered Bills.
Whenever a committee shall have determined to report a bill which has been materially altered by the committee, the committee chair shall forthwith provide for printing of the same. In the event a bill is not deemed to have been materially altered, which determination shall be made by the committee chair, a bill shall be printed only upon the request of the majority or minority leader. Nothing in these rules shall preclude the committee chair, with a majority of the committee, to change an act to a resolution or a resolution to an act on a substitute bill.
4.10-4 Printing of non-public bills.
The majority leader may order the printing of any bill not a public bill or any senator may request such printing provided such request shall not delay consideration of such bill by any committee or by the senate.
4.11 Copies of Bills and Voting Records.
The recording clerk of the senate shall retain in the files of the senate as many copies of each bill as the recording clerk deems necessary and the voting records on each question.
5.1 Standing Committees.
The senate shall have from and after the adoption of these rules, the following standing committees:
5.1-1 Committee on Judiciary.
It shall be the duty of the committee on judiciary to consider the appointments of the governor which require the advice and consent of the senate and all legislation and matters which affect the penal code and judicial system of the state, the rules of the senate, and such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate. In the matters of judicial appointment and those public hearings designated by the committee chair, all testimony shall be under oath and preserved by stenographic record which shall be transcribed upon the order of the chair.
5.1-2 Committee on Finance.
It shall be the duty of the committee on finance to consider all legislation and matters relative to revenue, appropriations and taxes, to inquire into the state of the public debt, to report from time to time its opinion thereon and such propositions relative thereto as it shall deem expedient, and to consider such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate.
5.1-3 Committee on Corporations.
It shall be the duty of the committee on corporations to consider all legislation and matters affecting business as well as non-business corporations, to keep the Rhode Island Corporation Law apace with the times, and to consider such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate.
5.1-4 Committee on Labor.
It shall be the duty of the committee on labor to consider all legislation and matters relating to the labor laws of the state and such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate.
5.1-5 Committee on Special Legislation.
It shall be the duty of the committee on special legislation to consider all legislation and matters relating to constitutional amendments, the liquor laws, fisheries, and such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate.
5.1-6 Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.
It shall be the duty of the committee on health, education and welfare to consider all reports of the departments of health, of human services, of mental health, retardation and hospitals and developmental disabilities, of children and their families, and of education and to consider all legislation and matters expanding or defining further areas of responsibility of the foregoing, and such other matters as may be referred to it by the senate.
5.2 Committee Membership.
Each of the standing committees of the senate shall consist of the majority and minority leaders of the senate, ex officio, with voting rights, and sixteen (16) senators to be appointed by the majority leader of the senate, each to serve until January 5, 1999. Provided however that the majority leader may change the committee assignment of a member with the member's consent for the session commencing on January 6, 1998.
5.3 Vacancies on Committees.
All vacancies occurring in any committee of the Senate shall be filled by the majority leader of the senate.
5.4 Officers of Committees.
The majority leader shall appoint from the membership of each committee a chair, vice chair and secretary and such other committee officers as the majority leader deems appropriate.
5.5 Select Committees.
The senate may, from time to time, by resolution, provide for the establishment of select committees upon such subjects as it may deem proper, and upon the adoption of such resolution, the majority leader of the senate shall appoint the chair and members thereof, and the majority leader shall provide for minority party representation.
5.6 Referral to Committee.
No bill shall be considered or acted upon by the senate unless the same has been considered by, reported, or recalled from a committee thereof, or from a joint committee, except as otherwise provided in these rules. All acts seeking to vacate the forfeiture of a charter previously granted under the laws of this state shall not be referred to committee but rather directly assigned to the calendar.
PROCEEDINGS IN COMMITTEE
6.1 Time for Committee Meetings.
The time and day for the meetings of all standing committees shall be called at the request of the chair. The regular day for the meeting of the Finance, Judiciary and Corporations Committees shall be on the same day. The regular day for the meeting of the Labor, Special Legislation and Health, Education and Welfare Committees shall be on the same day, provided that said day shall not be the same as that of the meeting for the Finance, Judiciary and Corporations Committees. The committee chair may call such other meetings as may be required to conduct the business of the committee.
6.2 Committee Agenda -- Posting.
At least two (2) days before any standing committee meeting, a committee agenda containing the number, title and a short explanation of the bill to be considered must be placed on the bulletin boards provided for such agenda, and a copy placed on the desk of each senator. The rule shall not apply to bills previously passed by the senate and amended by the house. There shall be at least two bulletin boards for such posting, at least one of which shall be for the public's use and shall be under the control and situated at the main entrance to the state library. There shall also be at least one bulletin board for the exclusive use of the senators which shall be situated in a convenient location. For the purpose of this section 6.2 only, all Mondays and days of recess during the session of the general assembly (exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays) shall be considered legislative days.
6.3 Convening of Meeting.
The chair of the committee or, in the chair's absence, the vice chair, shall call all regular sessions of the committee, set agenda and proceed with the order of business.
6.4 Public Participation.
6.4-1 Open Meetings.
Every standing committee meeting, except executive sessions, shall be open to the public during the consideration of all matters coming before it. At such open meetings, persons other than members of the committee may testify at the discretion ofthe committee chair.
6.4-2 Executive Sessions.
Any standing committee may be called into executive session by the chair or upon motion of one of the committee members if the matter under consideration is deemed by the chair to comply with those provisions of the "Open Meetings" law (chapter 42-46) which provides for closed meetings; provided, however, when the chair of any standing committee calls the committee into executive session, the majority of those members present in the executive session may vote not to meet in executive session after having heard the reasons for such executive session but no other votes shall be permitted in executive sessions. The chair of the committee which may be called into executive session shall provide a general description to the public of the reason for calling such committee into executive session.
6.4-3 Public Hearings
In the discretion of the chair, public hearings may be advertised in newspapers, stenographic records kept and hearings held at locations other than the state house. The purpose of the public hearing shall be to solicit the comments of the public on the matter being considered. At the public hearing all persons shall be permitted to testify; provided, however, the committee chair may limit the amount of time allotted to speakers except that the prime sponsor shall not have a time limit to speak and shall upon request be the first speaker at the hearing. After the public hearing has been held for a reasonable period and if there are still persons wishing to speak, the committee chair may continue the hearing until another date.
6.5 Hearing and Consideration of bills
(a) Upon a written request by the prime sponsor of any public bill received by the recording clerk before the closing of the next legislative date after the deadline for introduction as specified in section 4.6 that a committee hearing be held with respect to such bill, the committee chair shall schedule a committee hearing within eight (8) days of such request unless a later date is agreed to by the prime sponsor. "Received" as used herein shall mean receipt in hand by the recording clerk or his/her designee. The clerk shall note the date and time of receipt on the request and such notation shall be dispositive. The committee chair may consider hearings on related matters. The committee shall consider said bill not less than eight (8) days after the committee hearing, unless a later date is agreed to by the prime sponsor. If the committee does not consider the bill then the committee shall be discharged of its responsibility to consider such bill and such bill shall be placed on the senate calendar pursuant to section 7.6 hereof. Consideration by a committee shall be interpreted to mean any one of the following actions: recommendation of passage, recommendation of passage as amended, transfer to another committee, indefinite postponement, hold for further study or defeat of the bill.
(b) Provided further, the minority leader may request in writing within twenty-four (24) hours after the deadline for introductions specified in section 4.6 a hearing on any senate bill in committee.
(c) In the event a request is made pursuant to this rule at a time less than sixteen (16) days before the deadline for committee consideration set forth in section 6.9, then such request shall not be proper and shall be automatically denied.
A committee shall not vote upon any bill in the absence of a quorum which shall consist of a majority of the committee's membership; provided, however, that at the discretion of the chair, less than a quorum may conduct any hearing including public hearings.
6.7 Minority Representation.
When there is no minority member present and the committee is to consider a bill, the committee chair shall notify the office of the minority leader that there is no senator from the minority present. Unless waived by the minority leader, the committee shall not conduct business for a reasonable time or until a senator from the minority is present.
6.8 Committee Votes.
All votes in committee on public bills shall be a recorded roll call vote. The vote upon all motions or bills not considered a "public bill" shall, upon the request of any member of the committee, be a recorded roll call vote. Otherwise all votes shall be put by yeas and nays. Committee chairs shall submit all bills approved by committee to the floor forthwith, with a record of the committee vote.
6.9 Deadline for Consideration.
After April 4, for the year 1997 and April 3, 1998 for the year 1998, a committee shall consider only those public bills which have been acted upon and transmitted to the senate by the house of representatives; provided, however, that the majority leader may request a senate committee to immediately consider a senate bill then in committee and said bill shall be considered by the committee.
6.10 Discharge from Committee.
No bill shall be taken or called from any such committee, or the committee discharged from the consideration thereof, except:
(a) By a two-thirds (2/3) recorded vote of all the members elected to the senate by a petition in writing and distributed to each senator before the vote, or
(b) Any senator may present a petition, in writing, to discharge a committee from further consideration of a bill which has been in the possession of the committee for sixteen (16) days without having been considered, but only one petition on a particular bill may be presented during the course of a session. Prior to presenting the petition, the senator must introduce a resolution of intent to discharge such committee. Such resolution of intent shall contain the bill number and the committee to be discharged. The presiding officer shall cause the resolution of intent to be printed in the journal of the senate. The petition shall be placed in the custody of the presiding officer who shall arrange some convenient place for the signatures of the senators to be placed thereon in the presence of the reading clerk during the hours in which the senate is in session. A signature may be withdrawn by a senator at any time before the petition shall become effective.
On the first day of each week, there shall be printed in the journal of the senate the petitions pending under these rules, together with the signatures thereto; provided, however, that as soon as a majority of all the senators elected to the senate shall have affixed their signatures to any such petition to discharge a committee under this rule, the presiding officer shall cause notice thereof to be given to chair and clerk of the committee to which such bill was referred, and such notice shall, thereupon, automatically discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill and the bill shall be placed upon the calendar in accordance with section 7.6 hereof. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to change the deadline for consideration as specified in section 6.9.
6.11 Compelling Committee Action.
If a committee to which a bill has been referred, fails to consider such bill within sixteen (16) days of its introduction or transmittal, the prime sponsor of such bill, or four (4) committee members, may, in writing, request the chair of the committee, through the presiding officer of the senate, that such bill be considered. The request shall be printed in the journal of the senate. The committee shall consider such bill at its first meeting held at least two (2) days after such request is made. If the committee does not consider the bill within seven (7) days of receipt of the request then the committee shall be discharged of its responsibility to consider such bill and such bill shall be placed on the senate calendar pursuant to section 7.6 hereof. Consideration by a committee shall be interpreted to mean any one of the following actions: recommendation of passage, recommendation of passage as amended, transfer to another committee, indefinite postponement, hold for further study or defeat of the bill. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to change the deadline for consideration as specified in section 6.9.
6.12 Defeat of a Bill.
Once a bill is defeated in committee, the same shall not be acted upon or considered again during the same legislative year.
6.13 Indefinite Postponement.
Whenever any bill is postponed indefinitely in committee, the same shall not be acted upon or considered again during the same legislative year.
6.14 Transfer of Bills.
In the event the chair of any standing committee determines that any bill then pending before the committee would more properly be pending before another standing committee of the senate, the chair shall transfer such bill to such other standing committee as is deemed appropriate during the reports of committees.
6.15 Committee Records.
All recorded votes of committees, all written testimony submitted to a committee and the transcripts of any recorded testimony shall be retained by the clerk of each committee, shall constitute public records and shall be available for inspection to any senator and to any person upon request. All committee votes, transcripts and testimony shall be transmitted to the office of the majority leader following adjournment.
6.16 Attribution of bills
Upon presentation of testimony before a committee, the prime sponsor of the bill shall provide to the committee the name of any individual, group or organization responsible for the substantive basis or text of the bill.
PROCEEDINGS ON THE SENATE FLOOR
7.1 Right to the Floor.
No senator shall address another except through the presiding officer. A senator shall rise to put a question, may state it or read a paper sitting. When any senator wishes to speak or to deliver any matter to the senate, the senator shall press his or her recognition control and the presiding officer shall recognize the senator who so requests recognition and the order of recognition shall be determined by the presiding officer. The senator so recognized shall not be interrupted while speaking except by a call to order or a motion to suspend Section 3.5. The senator shall then immediately be seated unless permitted by the senate to proceed, which shall be determined upon motion without debate. No senator shall speak more than twice on the same question without leave of the senate which shall be determined without debate, nor more than once until the other senators who have not spoken shall speak if they so desire, provided, however that a senator may yield his or her right to the floor to another senator.
7.2 Personal Privilege.
Only at the time provided for in section 3.3, a senator may claim the floor to address the senate on personal privilege. Personal privilege shall include the right to reply to criticism, or to discuss anything clearly derogatory to the member or which reflects upon his or her character that appears in the press or other public medium but shall not include the right to discuss favorable references to the senator, nor to reply to generalized criticism of the senate which does not refer to him or to her specifically, nor to attack another member of the senate personally. Whether a member's remarks constitute personal privilege shall be determined by the presiding officer.
7.3 Unanimous Consent.
Only at the time provided for in section 3.3, a senator may request unanimous consent of the senators present to address the senate on a topic or matter of importance to the welfare of the state. A senator granted the right to so address the senate may be interrupted at any time by another senator who wishes to object to the first senator's right to continue to address the senate and upon such objection the first senator's right to address the senate shall terminate.
No senator shall use profane, insulting, or abusive language in the course of public debate in the senate chamber, or in testimony before any committee of the general assembly.
7.5 Priority of Business.
All questions relating to priority of business to be acted upon shall be decided by the presiding officer without debate.
There shall be a calendar kept by the recording clerk upon which shall be placed the bills reported by all committees, and all other matters ordered placed thereon by the senate. Matters on the calendar shall be arranged by the recording clerk in numerical order by committee unless otherwise ordered by the majority leader in agreement with the minority leader. Such calendar shall be posted in the chamber of the senate and shall be printed and distributed to the senators daily. Except as provided in section 7.13, and during consideration of the calendar, no other business shall intervene except to receive a message communication from the house or a motion to suspend section 3.5.
All business on the calendar not disposed of at the time of adjournment shall be first in order on the calendar the next day. No matter of business on the calendar shall be considered upon its merits unless it has been on such calendar at least two (2) days; except that the majority leader may order a bill placed on the calendar for more than two (2) days; provided, however, a bill passed by the senate and amended by the house of representatives may be considered by the senate without being on the calendar for two (2) days if the printing requirement of section 4.11 has been met.
7.7 Consent Calendar.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7.6, the recording clerk shall also maintain a separate calendar, designated as the consent calendar, upon which shall be placed all bills which are not public bills. Matters on the consent calendar shall be in order for disposal on each day and shall include all such matters reported or referred thereto from the previous day. Such consent calendar shall be posted in the chamber of the senate and shall be printed and distributed to the senators. All matters on the consent calendar shall be disposed by a single motion except such matters as may be objected to by any single senator, which said matter or matters shall be held over on the regular calendar for the next day.
7.8 Reports of Joint Committees.
No bill reported by or forwarded on the recommendation of a joint committee of the two houses shall be in order for concurrence by the senate if it shall appear that the members of such joint committee on the part of the senate, if in attendance on the general assembly, shall not have been notified or present when the subject was acted on by such joint committee. No report shall be acted on in the senate from any joint committee unless as subscribed by a senator who is a member of said committee. Any report from a joint committee shall be made on the floor of the senate by a member of said committee, notwithstanding that said member may not have concurred in the report and said report shall be held on the desk unless ordered placed on the calendar pursuant to section 7.6 by the majority leader or by a majority vote of the senate.
7.9 Messages from the House.
When a message is received from the House of Representatives, transmitting any papers, the recording clerk shall transmit to the office of the President Pro Tempore all house transmittals received on that day. The President Pro Tempore shall assign house transmittals to committees upon adjournment of the senate. The recording clerk shall cause all house transmittals to be published in the Senate Journal for the day such transmittals are received. Any senator may object to the committee assignment for any transmittal received during the previous legislative day. Upon objection being made, the Presiding Officer shall assign the transmittal to the committee requested by the senator making the objection, provided however that if another senator objects to any assignment or proposed assignment of the transmittal, then the Presiding Officer shall call for a vote of the senate on any motion for assignment which has been made and seconded, such motion requiring a majority vote of those senators present and voting for assignment to a particular committee.
During the time for consideration of house transmittals, a senator may move for immediate consideration of a house transmittal, received by the recording clerk on the previous legislative day. If there is no objection to the motion, it is deemed to be approved, but if there is objection to the motion for immediate consideration, the Presiding Officer shall submit the motion to a vote of the senate, such motion for immediate consideration shall require the votes of two-thirds (2/3) of those senators present and voting, for approval.
No senator may amend from the floor any bill pending before the senate unless such amendment be submitted, in writing, with sufficient copies signed by the proponent, and read to the body; provided, however, that no amendment to the annual budget bill making appropriations for the support of the state may be offered, except with the agreement of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present, unless copies thereof shall have been filed with the recording clerk no later than 12:00 o'clock noon on the legislative day preceding the legislative day on which the budget bill shall be in order for consideration.
7.11 Votes in Concurrence.
Whenever any bill shall come before the senate for concurrence, and be concurred in without amendments, or non-concurred with, the recording clerk may announce the concurrence or non-concurrence to the other house with the title of the bill or paper, but the original bill concurred in by the senate without amendments or non-concurred with, shall not be transmitted to the other house.
No motion shall be debated until it has been seconded. For the purpose of recorded votes only the first second shall be recorded. A motion may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before a decision or a motion to amend, except a motion to reconsider, which shall not be withdrawn after the time has elapsed within which it could be originally made.
7.13 Interruption of Debate.
When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received except to suspend Section 3.5, to adjourn, to recommit, for the previous question, to close debate, to fix a time for closing debate, to take a recess, to lay on the table, to take from the table, to transmit, to postpone indefinitely, or to amend, and any motion or resolution the purpose of which is to take any bill or any other matter from committees of the senate or to discharge a committee from the consideration thereof, which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are here arranged and shall be decided by majority vote without debate.
When time for meeting of the senate shall have been previously fixed, a motion to adjourn and a motion to suspend section 3.5 shall always be in order. The senate shall not be adjourned except by affirmative vote of a majority of the senators present and voting.
7.15 Lay on the Table.
When an amendment proposed to any pending measure be laid on the table, it shall not carry with it, or prejudice such measure.
7.16 Dividing Questions.
A question that is susceptible of division shall, at the request of the majority, be divided and put separately upon the propositions of which it is compounded.
7.17 Non-germane Amendments.
No motion or proposition of a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.
When any vote is passed any senator recorded voting with the prevailing side may by motion made on the same day move to reconsider it on the same or next day of the same session; when a bill is reconsidered it shall not be reconsidered again during the session. Bills and other papers in reference to which any senator has a right to move reconsideration, shall, unless otherwise ordered, remain in the possession of the recording clerk until the right of reconsideration has expired. The privilege to reconsider granted by this rule may be suspended by a majority vote of the senators present and voting.
7.19 Printed Material.
If the reading of any printed or written paper be objected to, the matter shall be determined by a majority vote of the senate without debate.
No motion to recommit shall be entertained by the presiding officer as to any bill which is placed on the calendar as the result of section 6.10 until every senator desiring to be heard has been recognized, notwithstanding the provisions of section 7.14.
7.21 Immediate Consideration.
During the time for introduction and reference of new business, as provided in section 3.3, a senator may introduce a bill and move for immediate consideration of the bill at that time. If there is no objection to the motion, it is deemed to be approved, but if there is objection to the motion for immediate consideration, the Presiding Officer shall submit the motion to a vote of the Senate, such motion for immediate consideration shall require the votes of two-thirds (2/3) of those senators present and voting, for approval.
VOTING ON THE SENATE FLOOR
8.1 Method of Voting.
The electronic roll of the senate shall be called upon any vote pertaining to a public bill and on any other vote at the request of any senator present; otherwise, votes shall be put by yeas and nays. In naming sums or numbers, and fixing times, the largest sum or longest time shall be put first.
8.2 Voting Machine Inoperative.
In the event the machine is not to be used to record a vote or is not operating properly, all votes and other determinations may be taken as required by senate rules, either by voice vote, division vote or by calling the roll alphabetically and recording the yeas and nays. If a senator's voting device is out of order, the senator shall rise and announce it to the presiding officer and cast his or her vote orally prior to the declaration of the result of the vote.
8.3 Who may Vote.
Every senator may vote providing he or she is in the chamber of the senate at the time the vote is in progress. Any senator who is not in the chamber at such time, but who returns before the machine is locked, shall be permitted to vote.
8.4 Control of Electronic Voting System.
The electronic voting system shall be under the control of the presiding officer and shall be operated by such personnel as the majority leader so designates.
8.5 Conducting a Vote.
At a reasonable time, prior to any vote being taken, the presiding officer shall announce that a vote is about to be taken. When any senator other than the president of the senate is presiding, such senator may direct either the recording clerk or the reading clerk to cast his or her vote at his or her voting station, but at no other time may a senator designate any other person to cast his or her vote. Until the completion of the voting, no senator shall be recognized, and no other business shall be transacted. When sufficient time has elapsed for each senator to vote prior to locking the machine, the presiding officer shall ask if any member present desires to vote or change his or her vote. The presiding officer shall then order the machine locked and activate the recording process. The voting machine shall remain unlocked between all votes.
8.6 Announcing the Tally.
When the vote is completely recorded, the recording clerk shall advise the presiding officer of the result; and the presiding officer shall announce the result to the senate and the result shall be recorded in the journal.
8.7 Changing a Vote.
No vote may be changed after the system has been locked and the vote recorded. After a vote has been recorded any senator may, by a majority vote of the senate, request that his or her vote be changed, provided that such change be effected on the same day as his or her original vote and before the next recorded vote.
8.8 Recording Votes.
Upon request, on any non-recorded vote, any senator shall have his vote recorded so that it shall appear in the journal of the senate.
8.9 Voting for Another.
No senator may vote for another senator; nor may any person cast a vote for a senator, except as otherwise provided in section 8.5. A senator who voted for another senator may be punished in a manner the senate determines. A person voting for a senator, when not authorized by section 8.5, is barred from the floor of the senate and may be further punished as the senate determines.
8.10 Explanation of Vote.
No explanation of any vote will be permitted during the voting or after a vote has been cast.
8.11 Statement of the Question.
After the question has been put, but before the system is locked, any senator may call for a statement of the question.
8.12 No Interruption.
While the presiding officer is putting the question, or the vote is being recorded, no senator shall speak or leave his or her place.
9.1 Legislative Aides.
The majority leader may appoint and prescribe the duties and terms of a Parliamentarian and one head page and as many assistant pages, doorkeepers and legislative aides as the majority leader shall deem necessary; and any or all of them may be removed at the pleasure of the majority leader.
9.2 Absence of a Quorum.
When there shall be seven (7) or more senators, but less than a quorum of the senate present, a majority of the senators present may direct the presiding officer to compel the attendance of absent senators in accordance with law.
9.3 Amendment and Suspension of Rules.
No rule shall be repealed, suspended or amended, or the operation thereof temporarily suspended except by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting.
9.4 Access to the Senate Floor.
Lobbying on the floor of the senate while the senate is in session is prohibited.
9.4-2 Credentials Required.
No person without proper credentials shall be admitted to the floor of the senate while in session, except as follows:
Current and former general officers of the state; judges of the supreme, superior, family, district, workers' compensation and administrative adjudication courts; current and former senators; current and former members of the house of representatives; employees of the senate, the house of representatives and agencies of the general assembly; the executive counsel and the chief administrative assistant to the governor or their designees; the librarian of the state library; representatives of the news media; and other persons as may be permitted by the president and subject to such limitations and regulations as the president may from time to time prescribe. In no event shall any person be permitted to be seated on the floor without permission of the majority leader and or minority leader.
9.4-3 Senators' Seats.
The seat of each senator shall be assigned by the majority leader and in no event shall any other person be permitted to occupy such assigned seat.
9.4-4 Sheriff's Duties.
It shall be the duty of the sheriff, or the sheriff's deputies in attendance in the senate to see that 9.4-1, 9.4-2, 9.4-3, 9.4-5 and 9.4-9 are enforced, and that all senate entrances and exits are kept completely clear and open to passage to and from the chamber.
When the normal seating accommodations for visitors in the gallery have been filled, no additional seats shall be installed, and no persons shall be thereafter admitted to the gallery of the senate while in session except to fill vacancies.
9.5 Confidentiality of Drafting.
At the request of any senator or senate attorney to the director of the legislative council, an entry into the word processing system may be made confidential so that the entry shall be accessible only to the senator or senate attorney making such request or his or her designee. An entry may be a bill, letter, memorandum or any other document.
9.6 Misuse of Rules.
If it appears that the rules are being used as a tactic to impede senate business, the presiding officer may make a decision to that effect and put the matter before the senate and a majority vote of the senators present shall sustain with finality the rule of the presiding officer.
9.7 Extraordinary and Special Session.
In the event of the calling of an extraordinary session of the general assembly by the governor, or a reconvened session by the speaker of the house and the majority leader of the senate, said session shall be conducted pursuant to the foregoing rules; provided, however, that rules 4.11-1, 6.2, 7.6 and 7.8 are not applicable to any such session; and, provided further, that any bill, act or resolution for consideration of which the session is called shall have been provided to the members at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the consideration of the senate.
9.8 Robert's Rules.
Robert's Rules of Order shall govern procedure on the senate floor and in the committees of the senate in all cases in which they are not inconsistent with these rules or with any joint rules of the senate and house.
9.9 Use of Facilities.
The senate locker room, lounge and corridor adjacent to them shall be for the exclusive use of the senators and their guests.
No senator shall use profane, insulting or abusive language or act in any manner that interferes with the orderly conduct of the session of the senate.
9.11 Smoking Prohibited.
Smoking shall be prohibited in all senate areas including, but not limited to: the chamber, gallery, lounge, committee rooms, offices, restrooms or hallways. The presiding officer shall enforce this rule.
9.12 Consumption of food and alcoholic beverages.
The consumption of food and alcoholic beverages shall be prohibited in the senate chamber.