Permanent Rules of the Senate

for the 80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)


Index to Senate Rules

    Parliamentary reference

  1. The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure shall govern the Senate in all cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these rules and orders of the Senate and the joint rules and orders of the Senate and House of Representatives.

    Hour of convening

  2. The Senate shall convene on days of meeting at 8:30 a.m. unless the Senate directs otherwise.

    President

  3. The President shall take the chair at the hour to which the Senate adjourned. The President shall immediately call the members to order and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall proceed with the regular order of business. The President shall preserve order and decorum, may speak on points of order in preference to members, and shall also decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Senate by a member. An appeal is decided by a majority vote of those present and voting. Upon an appeal from the decision of the President, the question is, "Shall the decision of the President be the judgment of the Senate?"

    Substitutes for the President

  4. The President may call a member to preside. In the absence of the President the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or the Chair's designee, shall preside over the Senate. In the absence of the President and the Chair, a member may be selected by the Senate to perform the duties of the President. Substitutions do not extend beyond adjournment.

    Absence of members

  5. No member or officer of the Senate shall be absent from a session of the Senate unless excused by the Senate.

    Decorum during business

  6. When the President puts a question, or addresses the Senate, no one shall walk out of or cross the Chamber. When a member is speaking, no one shall pass between the member speaking and the President. No member, or other person, shall proceed to or remain by the Secretary's desk while the yeas and nays are being called or counted. No member may speak without using a microphone. All remarks during debate shall be addressed to the Presiding Officer; however, a member may turn toward other members when speaking, rather than facing the Presiding Officer.

    Order of business

  7. The order of business is as follows:
    1. Petitions, letters, remonstrances.
    2. Executive and official communications.
    3. Messages from the House of Representatives.
    4. First reading of House bills.
    5. Reports of committees.
      • From standing committees.
      • From select committees.
    6. Second reading of Senate bills.
    7. Second reading of House bills.
    8. Motions and Resolutions.
    9. Calendar.
    10. Consent Calendar.
    11. General Orders.
    12. Introduction and first reading of Senate bills.
    13. Announcements of Senate interest.

    Under the order of business of Motions and Resolutions the Senate may by a majority vote of the whole Senate temporarily revert or proceed to any other order of business. A message from the House of Representatives that a Senate bill has been amended, and the amendment, must be printed and placed on the members' desks before a member may move to concur in the House amendment. If the amendment has been printed in the House Journal for a preceding day and is available to the members, the Journal copy may serve as the printed copy.

    Calendar

  8. The Secretary shall make a Calendar of all bills, resolutions and other matters coming before the Senate for final action. The Secretary shall place them on the Calendar in the order in which they have been acted upon in Committee of the Whole. The Calendar shall be printed and placed upon the members' desks at least one calendar day before the matters on it are considered.

    Consent Calendar

  9. If a committee determines that a bill it recommends to pass is of a routine nature or otherwise of a nature which likely will not be opposed, it may in its report recommend that the bill be placed on the Consent Calendar. If the report is adopted, the bill shall be printed and placed on the Consent Calendar after its second reading. On the question of adoption of the report the question of accepting the recommendation that the bill be placed on the Consent Calendar may be divided from the question of adopting the report in other respects.

    A majority of the whole Senate, or the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, may order a bill on General Orders to be placed on the Consent Calendar.

    The Consent Calendar consists of bills placed on it. Senate bills shall be positioned ahead of House bills. The Consent Calendar shall be printed and placed on the members' desks at least one calendar day before the matters on it are considered.

    If a member objects to consideration of a bill on the Consent Calendar at any time during its consideration in the Senate before the question on final passage is put, and that objection is supported by at least two other members, the bill shall be referred to the Committee of the Whole, and shall be placed at the bottom of General Orders subject to Rule 11, except that it need not lie over one calendar day before consideration in the Committee of the Whole.

    Special Order

  10. The Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration or the Chair's designee may designate a special order for a bill that has been given its second reading.

    A special order shall provide that the bill be considered immediately, at a time certain, or after specific other business is completed.

    During consideration of a special order, Rule 20 is suspended. As nearly as applicable, debate on the bill and all proceedings including amendments and substitutions shall be that of the Committee of the Whole.

    On any question a member may call for the yeas and nays which shall be entered in the Journal.

    Unless it is otherwise disposed of, after consideration a bill on Special Orders of the Senate shall immediately proceed to its third reading and final passage.

    A bill may not be made a special order if the chief author has declined on three previous occasions to take the bill up after it was designated a special order.

    General Orders

  11. The Secretary shall make a list of all bills, resolutions, reports of committees, and other proceedings of the Senate, which are referred to the Committee of the Whole, and which are not made the order of the day, for a particular day, and number them. The lists are called the "General Orders". They shall be taken up in the order in which they are numbered unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the committee.

    General Orders, together with all bills included on it required to be printed under the rules or orders of the Senate, shall be printed and placed upon the members' desks at least one calendar day before being considered in Committee of the Whole.

    Motions

  12. When a motion is made it shall be stated by the President. If it is in writing it shall be handed to the Secretary and read to the members.

  13. A motion or amendment shall be written if the President or a member requests. In that case it must identify the member or committee offering it.

  14. After a motion is stated by the President, or read by the Secretary, it is in possession of the Senate, but may be withdrawn by the author at any time before decision or amendment.

    Precedence of motions

  15. When a question is under debate no motion shall be received, except:
    1. To adjourn.
    2. To recess.
    3. To reconsider.
    4. To lay on the table.
    5. For the previous question.
      (Motions numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5 above shall be decided without debate.)
    6. To refer.
    7. To postpone to a day certain.
    8. To amend.
    9. To postpone indefinitely.

    These several motions have precedence in the foregoing order; but when a motion for the previous question has been seconded, or the main question ordered, a motion to lay on the table is not in order.

    A motion to postpone to a day certain, to refer, to postpone indefinitely, or to amend, having been decided, shall not again be put on the same day, nor at the same stage of the bill or proposition.

    Motion to adjourn

  16. A motion to adjourn is always in order, and also a motion to adjourn to a time certain. The latter motion is debatable solely as to the time. When either motion is rejected it shall not be renewed until further business has been transacted.

    Amendments to rules and suspension of rules

  17. Every proposition to amend a rule of the Senate shall be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. The proposition shall not be acted upon until the report of the committee is received by the Senate. A rule shall not be suspended except by at least two-thirds vote of the whole Senate. A motion to suspend the rules for the purpose of advancing a bill shall be made only under the order of business, "Motions and Resolutions".

    Order in debate

  18. When a member is about to speak in debate, or deliver a matter to the Senate, the member shall rise and respectfully address "Mr. (or Madam) President". The member shall not proceed to speak further until recognized by the President. The member shall speak only to the question under debate and avoid personality. The member may inform the Senate of the Governor's position on a bill and on its status in the House of Representatives. In discussing a resolution, each member is limited to ten minutes.

  19. When a member is called to order, the member shall be silent until it is determined whether or not the member is in order. If a member is called to order for words spoken in debate, the words excepted to shall be taken down in writing by the Secretary immediately.

  20. No member shall speak more than twice on the same question on the same day without leave of the Senate.

    Committees not to be absent

  21. Committees shall not be absent from the Senate without permission of the Senate. The names of the members excused shall be printed in the Journal.

    Members to vote unless excused

  22. Every member who is in the Senate Chamber during a roll call shall vote upon the request of another member unless, for special reasons, excused by the Senate.

    A motion by a member to be excused from voting shall be made before the question is put. A member wishing to be excused from voting may make a brief statement of the reason for making the request and the question on the motion shall be taken without further debate.

    When members have had an opportunity to vote and fail to do so, a majority of all the members of the Senate may, by motion, direct the President to close the roll. The vote on a motion to close the roll shall be taken without debate and no member is required to vote on the motion.

    Call of the Senate

  23. A member may impose a call of the Senate requiring the attendance of all members before any further proceedings occur except a motion to adjourn. Upon the imposition of a call, a record of those present shall be obtained upon the request of any member, and the Sergeant at Arms instructed to bring in the absent members. When the Senate has been placed under call, a member may demand that the doors be closed and no member permitted to leave the Chamber until the matter or question, if any, under consideration at the time of the call is disposed of, or until the call is lifted by a majority vote of all the members of the Senate, or until the Senate adjourns. A majority vote of all the members of the Senate may excuse from attendance members not answering the call.

    A call cannot be made after voting has commenced.

    Questions--how stated and decided

  24. Questions shall be distinctly put. The President shall declare all votes but if a member rises to question a vote, the President shall order a division.

    Only members present to vote

  25. Upon a division and count of the Senate on a question, only members present in the Senate Chamber shall be counted. No member may vote on a question except at the member's own seat in the Chamber.

    Any member may demand yeas and nays

  26. At any time prior to the start of voting on a question, a member may call for the yeas and nays which shall be entered in the Journal. A call for the yeas and nays cannot be interrupted except as provided in Rule 22.

    Authorized electrical voting device

  27. Unless otherwise ordered, a vote, except upon elections, may be taken by means of the electrical voting system which is under the control of the President.

    Certificate for money

  28. No certificate authorizing the payment of money appropriated by the Legislature shall be issued by the Secretary by virtue of a motion or resolution, unless the motion or resolution is voted for by a majority of all members of the Senate upon a call of the yeas and nays.

    The previous question

  29. Unless the motion for the previous question is made specifically applicable to a subsidiary motion, the previous question shall be in this form:

    "Shall the main question now be put?" It shall only be admitted when demanded by a majority of the members present, and its effect is to put an end to all debate, and bring the Senate to a direct vote upon amendments reported by a committee, if any, then upon all pending amendments in their order and then upon the main question.

    On a motion for the previous question a call of the Senate is in order before the President submits the question to the Senate.

    On a previous question there is no debate. All incidental questions of order, arising after a motion is made for the previous question, and pending the motion, shall be decided, whether on appeal or otherwise, without debate.

    Division of question

  30. A member may call for a division of the question when the question will admit of it. A motion to strike out and insert is indivisible. A motion to strike out being lost does not preclude an amendment nor a motion to strike out and insert.

    Reconsideration

  31. When a motion or question has been once put and carried in the affirmative or negative, it is in order for a member who voted with the prevailing side to move for reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken or within the next two calendar days or, if later, the first day the Senate meets after the vote was taken. The motion takes precedence over all other questions except a motion to adjourn or recess. When a motion to adjourn is adopted prior to the disposition of the motion for reconsideration, a motion for reconsideration shall lie over until the next succeeding day the Senate meets except as provided in this rule. When notice of intention to move reconsideration of the final action of the Senate on a question is given by a member, the Secretary shall retain the subject of the notice until after the expiration of the time during which the motion can be made.

    During the six calendar days before the first Tuesday following the third Saturday in May of any year a notice of intention to move for reconsideration is not in order, but a motion to reconsider may be made and have priority over all other business except a motion to adjourn. A motion for reconsideration having been once voted on shall not be put again nor reconsidered.

    Introduction of bills

  32. Bills, memorials, concurrent or joint resolutions may be introduced by a member or by order of the Senate on a report of a committee. An original and three copies are required for introduction. The number of authors shall not exceed five. A member or a committee desiring to introduce a bill, memorial or concurrent or joint resolution shall place it in the hands of the Secretary, and the Secretary shall promptly deliver all the bills, memorials or concurrent or joint resolutions to the President who shall present them to the Senate.

    The name of the author or authors shall be prefixed to each bill, memorial or resolution and the name of a committee introducing a bill, memorial or resolution shall be endorsed on it.

    A bill prepared by a department or agency of state government shall be introduced and given its first reading three weeks before the first committee deadline in odd-numbered years and two weeks before the first committee deadline in even numbered years. Upon its introduction, the first author of the bill shall deliver a copy of the fiscal note on the bill to the chair of the standing committee to which the bill has been referred.

    Recess Bill Introductions

  33. During the period between the last day of the session in any odd-numbered year and the first day of the session in the following year, a bill filed with the Secretary for introduction shall be given a file number and may be unofficially referred by the President, with the approval of the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, to an appropriate standing committee of the Senate. All bills filed for introduction during this period shall be presented to the Senate when it reconvenes and shall be referred to the standing committees previously indicated by the President, subject to objection under Rule 35.

    Reporting of bills

  34. Every bill, memorial, order, resolution or vote requiring the approval of the Governor shall be reported to the Senate on three different days previous to its passage. The first report, called the first reading, is made when it has been received for introduction; the second report, called the second reading, is made when it has been considered by all the necessary standing committees and is ready for debate; the third report, called the third reading, is made when it is ready for final passage.

    Referring of bills

  35. All bills shall be referred by the President without motion to the proper standing committee unless otherwise referred by the Senate. A bill introduced by a committee need not be referred to a standing committee unless a question arises but rather shall lie over one day before being given its second reading. When a question arises concerning the proper reference of a bill during the order of business of first reading on the day of introduction or at the time of report on it by a standing committee to which the bill was previously referred, the bill shall be referred without debate to the Committee on Rules and Administration to report the proper reference, and upon adoption of the report of the Committee on Rules and Administration, it shall be referred accordingly.

    All bills appropriating money, or obligating the state to pay or expend money, or establishing a policy which to be effective will require expenditure of money, when referred to and reported by any other than a committee on finance, shall, before passage, be referred to a committee on finance.

    All bills delegating rulemaking to a department or agency of state government and all bills exempting a department or agency of state government from rulemaking, when referred to and reported by any other than the Committee on Governmental Operations and Veterans, shall, before passage, be referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations and Veterans.

    All bills creating a new commission, council, task force, board, or other body to which a member of the legislature will be appointed shall, before passage, be referred both to the Committee on Governmental Operations and Veterans and to the Committee on Rules and Administration.

    All bills authorizing or increasing a sentence of imprisonment to a state correctional institution shall be referred before passage to the Committee on Crime Prevention. Upon request of the chair of a budget division of a policy committee, the chair of the policy committee shall refer a bill in that committee to the division.

  36. No bill or resolution shall be referred to committee or amended until it has been given its first reading. No bill or resolution shall be objected to on its introduction.

    Amendments to be germane

  37. An amendment proposed to the Senate or to the Committee of the Whole that is not germane is out of order. A non-germane amendment includes one that relates to a substantially different subject, or is intended to accomplish a substantially different purpose than that of the original bill to which it is proposed. An amendment to insert a constitutional amendment is not germane to a bill that does not already include a constitutional amendment. Whether an amendment is germane is a question to be decided by the President, who may put the question to the body if the President chooses.

    A motion to remove an amendment placed on a House bill under Rule 49 is out of order if removal of the amendment would make a portion of the House bill not germane to the Senate companion for which it was substituted.

    Amendments to bills

  38. In drawing an amendment to a bill or resolution reference shall be made therein, first to the number of the bill, then to the page, and then to the line or lines from which matter is to be stricken or in which new matter is to be inserted.

    Amendments to title

  39. The title to a bill may be amended at any time the bill is amended by the Senate.

    Recall from committee

  40. With the concurrence of the first author of the bill, before the deadline for committee action on the bill a majority of the Senate and after the deadline for committee action on the bill 60 percent of the Senate may recall a bill from any committee and re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders. With the concurrence of the first author of the bill, a majority of the Senate may at any time take a bill from the table and place it on General Orders.

    By a report of the Committee on Rules and Administration adopted by the Senate, the Committee on Rules and Administration, on request of the first author, may remove a bill from committee and re-refer it to any other committee or place it on General Orders.

    Distribution and printing of bills

  41. To the extent practical the Secretary shall provide a copy of any bill to the public and may charge a reasonable fee.

    Unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, all Senate bills which have been reported upon favorably or without recommendation by a committee shall be printed prior to consideration by the Senate or the Committee of the Whole. A House bill amended by the Senate must be unofficially engrossed and printed when placed on General Orders. A bill may be printed by order of the Secretary when amended after second reading. A bill shall be printed when ordered by a majority vote of the Senate. Action by the Senate on a bill which has not been printed is a waiver of the printing requirement.

    Committee of the Whole

  42. All bills, memorials, orders, resolutions and votes requiring the approval of the Governor shall, after a second reading, be considered in Committee of the Whole before they are finally acted upon by the Senate, except as provided for in Rules 9 and 10.

  43. The President may call a member to the Chair when the Senate resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole. The rules observed in the Senate govern, as far as practicable, the proceedings of the Committee of the Whole, and the Chair of the Committee of the Whole has the powers of the President, as appropriate. However, a member may speak more than twice on the same subject and a call for the previous question cannot be made. The yeas and nays shall be taken only upon the request of three members, and when taken shall be recorded in the Journal along with the amendment.

  44. The recommendations of the Committee of the Whole shall be reported to the Senate. If a recommendation contains a proposed amendment of a bill, that amendment shall be noted on a separate piece of paper but when reported need not be read by the President unless required by one or more of the members. The question is on the adoption or rejection of the report, and no other question shall be admitted. The question may be divided to permit separate Senate action on the report as to any bill. On adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole all bills recommended to pass shall be placed upon the Calendar.

    Amendment on third reading

  45. No amendment is in order on third reading without the unanimous consent of the Senate unless it fills a blank, amends the title as provided by Rule 39, is proposed to the chief author of the bill by the Revisor of Statutes to correct technical defects found by the Revisor while engrossing earlier amendments to the bill, or is proposed to a bill on the Consent Calendar before the bill is given its third reading.

    In filling blanks, the largest sum, the longest time and the greatest distance shall be first taken.

    Motion to refer

  46. A bill or resolution may be referred to committee at any time prior to its passage, and if an amendment is reported on the referral to any other than the Committee of the Whole, it shall again be read the second time, considered in Committee of the Whole, read the third time and placed on final passage. If the referral is to the Committee of the Whole it shall be placed at the head of General Orders, except when the referral is under Rule 9.

    Final passage

  47. The final question upon a bill or other matter requiring action by both Houses after its first and second reading, and after the consideration in Committee of the Whole, is upon its final passage.

    Transmitting of bills to the House

  48. Except as provided in Rule 31, immediately after the passage of a bill or other matter in which the concurrence of the House of Representatives is requested, the Secretary shall transmit it to the House. On the concurrence of a bill or other matter of the House by the Senate, or on the concurrence or disagreement in a vote of the House, the Secretary shall notify the House.

    Comparison and substitution of bills

  49. Unless there is a motion by the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration or objection under Rule 35, a House bill, after its first reading, shall be referred as follows:
    • (a) If there is no Senate companion bill, the House bill shall be referred to the appropriate standing committee;
    • (b) If there is a Senate companion bill, the House bill shall be referred to the standing committee possessing the Senate companion;
    • (c) If the Senate companion bill has been reported to the Senate, the House bill shall be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration, which shall report whether the House bill is identical to the Senate companion bill. If the bills are identical, the report shall recommend that the House bill be given its second reading and substituted for the Senate companion bill and the Senate companion bill be indefinitely postponed. If the House bill is not identical to the Senate companion bill, the report of the committee shall so state and recommend an amendment to the House bill that when adopted will render the House bill identical to the Senate bill. Upon adoption of a committee report containing the proposed amendment, the House bill as amended shall be given its second reading and substituted for the Senate companion bill and the Senate companion bill shall be indefinitely postponed.

    Reports of the Committee on Rules and Administration pursuant to this rule shall be prepared and submitted on behalf of the committee by the Secretary.

    A House bill placed on the Calendar by substitution shall not be given its third reading on the same day as the substitution.

    Engrossing and enrolling of bills

  50. All engrossing and enrolling of bills shall be done at the direction and under authority of the Senate.

    Every bill, memorial, order or resolution originating in the Senate shall be carefully engrossed before being transmitted to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

    All bills shall be carefully enrolled under the supervision of the Committee on Rules and Administration, which may report to the Senate at any time on the enrollment of bills.

    Disposition of bills on adjournment

  51. Adjournment of the regular session in an odd-numbered year to a date certain in the following year shall be equivalent to daily adjournment, except that a bill on the Calendar, Consent Calendar, or General Orders shall be returned to the standing committee other than the Committee on Rules and Administration from which it was last reported to the Senate, unless otherwise provided for by motion prior to adjournment. Bills returned to committee pursuant to this rule shall, upon request of the author, be given priority for consideration by the committee ahead of all other bills in the order in which they appeared on the Calendar, Consent Calendar, or General Orders.

    Petitions and other communications

  52. In presenting a petition, memorial, remonstrance or other communication addressed to the Senate, a member shall only state the general purpose of it.

    Every petition, memorial, remonstrance, resolution, bill and report of committee, shall have an appropriate title, and the name of the member presenting it written on it.

    Resolutions

  53. Memorial resolutions addressed to the President or the Congress of the United States, or a house or member of Congress, or a department or officer of the United States, or a state or foreign government, joint resolutions, and resolutions requiring the signature of the Governor shall follow the same procedure as bills before being adopted. A resolution may not be changed to a bill, and a bill may not be changed to a resolution.

    Upon a member giving notice of intention to debate a resolution not required to follow the same procedure as bills and not offered by the Committee on Rules and Administration, the resolution shall lie over one calendar day without debate or other action. Upon the request of a member, the resolution shall be referred to the proper committee. Whenever a question arises concerning the proper reference the procedure provided by Rule 35 applies.

    Confirmations

  54. Every gubernatorial appointment requiring the advice and consent of the Senate shall be referred by the President to the appropriate committee. If a question arises as to the proper committee, the appointment shall be referred without debate to the Committee on Rules and Administration for a report making the proper reference.

    The final question on the appointment is, "Will the Senate, having given its advice, now consent to this appointment?" The question shall not be put the same day the appointment is received or on the day it is reported by committee unless by unanimous consent.

    Signing of acts, resolutions

  55. In addition to the duties under Rule 3, the President shall sign all acts, memorials, addresses and resolutions. All writs, warrants and subpoenas issued by the Senate shall be signed by the President and attested by the Secretary. Upon a finding by the Committee on Rules and Administration that the President refuses or is unable to sign any of the documents described in this rule, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or some other member selected by the committee shall assume the duties of the President under this rule until the President is able to sign the documents described or until the Senate elects a new President, whichever occurs first.

    Appointment of committees

  56. A member may not serve as the chair of the same standing committee or the same division of a standing committee, or a committee or division with substantially the same jurisdiction, for more than two consecutive Senate terms. This limit does not apply to the Committee on Rules and Administration. This limit applies to time served as a chair in the seventy-eighth legislature and thereafter.

    The majority and minority shall each be represented on all standing committees of the Senate substantially in proportion to their numbers in the Senate. The majority group shall assign the number of positions the minority group will hold on each committee. The minority group shall be given adequate notice about its positions prior to the commencement of the session. Both the majority and minority groups shall appoint their own members to fill the number of positions each group will hold on each committee. The minority group shall transmit notice of its assignments to the majority group within ten calendar days after receipt of the notice of positions available. The minority group may designate a ranking member for each committee. Nothing prohibits a member of the minority group from serving as chair or vice chair of a committee, subcommittee, division, or commission. If the minority group for any reason fails to make its appointments pursuant to this rule, the majority group may make all the committee assignments.

    The majority and minority committee assignments are subject to the uniform criteria governing committee assignments applicable to both the majority and minority. The uniform criteria shall be promulgated by the majority group and transmitted to the minority group together with notification of committee positions available to the minority.

    Committee assignments as made by the majority and minority groups shall be followed by the Senate in the resolution establishing representation on all Senate standing committees.

    After the organization of the Senate and after consultation and advice from the minority leader, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration may add members to or delete members from the standing committees. All conference committees of the Senate and members of commissions to be appointed by the Senate authorized by rule, statute, resolution or otherwise, shall be appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration, unless otherwise provided, subject to confirmation by the Senate. In the appointment of members of conference committees between the two houses, the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate shall appoint those who are in accord with the position of the Senate, and whenever practical, give preference to authors of bills in dispute and to members of standing committees in which the bills were considered.

    Standing committees

  57. The standing committees of the Senate are as follows:
    • Agriculture and Rural Development
    • Children, Families and Learning
    • Commerce
    • Crime Prevention
    • Education Finance
    • Election Laws
    • Environment and Natural Resources
    • Governmental Operations and Veterans
    • Health and Family Security
    • Human Resources Finance
    • Jobs, Energy and Community Development
    • Judiciary
    • Local and Metropolitan Government
    • Rules and Administration
    • State Government Finance
    • Taxes
    • Transportation

    The Committee on Rules and Administration may constitute a standing Subcommittee on Committees, the report of which within its jurisdiction has the effect of a report of the main Committee on Rules and Administration. The subcommittee shall consist of five members, one of whom shall be a member of the minority group.

    Each standing committee of the Senate, including a subcommittee or division of the committee, is authorized at any time to sit and act, to investigate and take testimony on any matter within its jurisdiction, to report hearings held by it, and to make expenditures as authorized from time to time by the standing Committee on Rules and Administration. A standing committee, but not a subcommittee or division, may require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of correspondence, books, papers, and documents, in the manner provided by Minnesota Statutes, section 3.153.

    Committee meetings

  58. All meetings of the Senate, its committees, committee divisions, and subcommittees are open to the public. A meeting of a caucus of the members of any of those bodies from the same political party need not be open to the public. A caucus of the Hennepin county, Ramsey county, or St. Louis county delegation is open to the public. For purposes of this rule, a meeting occurs when a quorum is present and action is taken regarding a matter within the jurisdiction of the body.

    To the extent practical, meetings of all committees, subcommittees, and divisions shall be announced to the public at least three calendar days prior to convening. The notice shall state the name of the committee, subcommittee, or division, the bill or bills to be considered, the place and time of meeting.

    The notice shall be posted on all Senate bulletin boards in the Capitol and the State Office Building. A notice shall be sent to the House of Representatives for posting as it deems necessary. If the three-day notice requirement cannot be met, known proponents and opponents of the bill shall be given simultaneous notice of the meeting as soon as practicable.

    A Senate committee, subcommittee, or division shall adjourn no later than 11:00 p.m. each day, unless two-thirds of the members present vote to suspend this requirement.

    Quorum in committee

  59. A majority of its members constitutes a quorum of a committee, subcommittee, or division.

    Report of vote in committee

  60. Upon the request of a member of a committee, subcommittee, or division to which a bill has been referred, or upon the request of the author of the bill, a record shall be made of the vote on the bill in the committee, subcommittee, or division, including the vote on any amendment or proposed amendment to it, in the committee, subcommittee, or division to which the bill was referred.

    Upon request of three members of the committee before the vote is taken, the record of a roll call vote in a standing committee shall accompany the committee report and be printed in the Journal.

    Committee action

  61. No report of any committee shall be made to the Senate unless it reports action taken at a regular or special meeting of the committee. A report in violation of this rule is out of order.

    Employees authorized in the Senate

  62. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall establish positions, set compensation, appoint employees, and authorize expense reimbursement for employees as it deems proper to carry out the work of the Senate. At the request of any committee member, an action of the committee shall be submitted as a Senate resolution for adoption by the Senate. A roster of all employees of the Senate, including positions and compensation, shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be open for inspection by the public. The Secretary shall post, in a public place in the Capitol, a notice of every vacant position on the permanent staff of the Senate. The notice must remain posted for at least two weeks, and no vacancy may be filled until the period of posting has elapsed.

    Budget and expenditures

  63. The Committee on Rules and Administration shall adopt an operating budget for the Senate.

    All propositions for the appointment and payment of employees of the Senate or for expenditures on account of the Legislature, other than those provided by law, shall be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration without debate.

    Authority over employees

  64. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Committee on Rules and Administration has full and exclusive authority over, and charge of all employees, officers and clerks of the Senate both elective and appointive. The committee has the sole and exclusive power and authority to assign them to duties other than for which they were elected or appointed as the committee may from time to time provide. The committee has power to appoint employees, officers or clerks as it deems proper to exercise the power granted to it by this rule. The committee may make rules and regulations for the government of the employees, officers and clerks as they see fit. In case of violation of an order of the committee by an employee, officer or clerk, or in case of a violation of a rule or regulation made by the committee, or in case of misconduct or omission by an employee, officer or clerk, the Committee on Rules and Administration may hear complaints and discharge the employee, officer or clerk or impose other punishment by way of fine or otherwise upon the employee, officer or clerk as the committee deems just and proper.

    Duties of Secretary

  65. The Secretary shall keep a correct Journal of the proceedings of the Senate and shall perform other duties assigned to the Secretary. The Secretary shall not permit Journal records, accounts or papers to be taken from the table or out of the Secretary's custody, other than in the regular mode of business. If a paper in the Secretary's charge is missing, the Secretary shall report the fact to the President, so that inquiry may be made. The Secretary shall superintend the recording of proceedings in the Journal, the engrossing, transcribing and copying of the bills and resolutions, supervise the assistants, clerks and stenographers under the direction of the Committee on Rules and Administration, and generally perform the duties of Secretary, under direction of the President. The Secretary shall keep a record of all Senate and House bills showing the state, condition, and progress of each bill pending, until its final passage.

    The Secretary shall cause to be recorded on magnetic tape the proceedings of the Senate, the Committee of the Whole, and each standing committee, subcommittee, and division. Each tape shall be clearly labeled to show the name of the body whose proceedings are recorded and the dates the proceedings occurred. Each tape of the proceedings of the Senate and the Committee of the Whole shall be accompanied by a log showing the number of each bill considered and the places on the tape where consideration of the bill occurred. Within two working days after each day the Senate is in session the Secretary shall make a copy of the tape and corresponding log of proceedings of the Senate and the Committee of the Whole and deliver the copies to the Legislative Reference Library. Within one week after each meeting of a standing committee, subcommittee, or division, the Secretary shall deliver a tape recording of the meeting to the Legislative Reference Library, together with an agenda showing bills considered and any action taken on them. Upon completion and approval of the minutes of the meeting, a copy of the minutes shall be promptly delivered to the Legislative Reference Library. The Secretary shall keep a record of each session of the Senate and the Committee of the Whole, each meeting of a Senate standing committee, subcommittee, or division and the date on which a tape recording of the session or meeting was transmitted to the Legislative Reference Library. The Library shall keep a similar record of all tapes received. The Library shall provide committee staff with reasonable access to Senate tapes and shall provide the public with convenient facilities to listen to the tapes. Copies of Senate tapes shall be available to the public from the Secretary, for a fee determined by the Secretary to be adequate to cover the cost of preparing the copies. A copy shall be provided free to a member of the Senate upon request for use in legislative business. The original tape and log of each session of the Senate and the Committee of the Whole shall be kept by the Secretary until the end of the period for which the members of the existing House of Representatives have been elected, at which time the tape may be preserved or disposed of as the Secretary sees fit. Tapes, logs, and minutes forwarded to the Legislative Reference Library shall be kept by the Library until two years after the end of the period for which the members of the existing Senate have been elected, at which time they may be preserved or disposed of as the Library sees fit. It is the intention that testimony and discussion preserved under this rule not be admissible in any court or administrative proceeding on an issue of legislative intent.

    Journal--how approved

  66. The Journal of each day's proceedings is open for correction at any time during the session of the next day the Senate meets. Unless corrected on that day, the Journal stands approved.

    Secretary may correct errors

  67. The Secretary of the Senate and Engrossing Secretary, in all proper cases, shall correct all mistakes in numbering the sections and reference to them, whether the errors occur in the original bill or are caused by amendments to it.

    Purchasing supplies and services

  68. The Secretary is the agent of the Senate for the purchase of supplies and services. The Secretary's records on purchase of supplies and services are open for inspection during normal business hours. The Secretary shall adopt administrative controls to ensure that each member is accountable for the member's own long distance telephone calls and that Senate telephones are used only for Senate business.

    By the 15th day of April, July, October, and January of each year, the Secretary of the Senate shall submit a detailed report of Senate expenditures during the previous quarter to the Committee on Rules and Administration.

    Duties of the Sergeant at Arms

  69. The Sergeant at Arms shall execute all orders of the President and perform all assigned duties connected with the police and good order of the Senate Chamber; exercise supervision over the entry and exit of all persons to and from the Chamber; see that messages are promptly delivered; see that the hall is properly ventilated and the temperature properly regulated, and that it is open for the use of members of the Senate at the time fixed; and perform all other services pertaining to the office of Sergeant.

    Persons privileged to the floor of the Senate

  70. No person shall be admitted within the Senate Chamber, but a member, an officer, the constitutional officers, ex-Governors of the State of Minnesota, members of the House, judges of the trial and appellate courts and members of Congress. Those who have been members of Congress or of the state Legislature who are not interested in any claim or directly in a bill pending before the Legislature may be personally admitted by a member of the Senate. An employee of either house may be admitted at the request of a member or an officer of the Senate. The head of a department of state government may be admitted by the President. When a member-elect is sworn in, the member-elect may request that one guest be admitted. When the Senate is not meeting, a person not a member may be admitted to the floor at the request of a member or officer. No public hearings shall be held in the Senate Chamber. The retiring room of the Senate is reserved for the exclusive use of the members of the Senate at all times. The Sergeant at Arms shall strictly enforce this rule.

    Privilege of reporters

  71. Provision shall be made for news reporters on the Senate floor in limited numbers, and in the Senate gallery. Because of limited space on the floor, permanent space is limited to those news agencies which have regularly covered the legislature, namely: The Associated Press, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Duluth News-Tribune, Fargo Forum, Rochester Post-Bulletin, St. Cloud Daily Times, WCCO radio, KSTP radio, and Minnesota Public Radio. An additional two spaces shall be provided to other reporters if space is available.

    One person from each named agency and one person from the Senate Publications Office may be present at the press table on the Senate floor at any one time.

    Other news media personnel may occupy seats provided in the Senate gallery.

    The Committee on Rules and Administration may, through committee action or by delegating authority to the Secretary, allow television filming on the Senate floor on certain occasions.

    The Secretary of the Senate shall compile and distribute to the public a directory of reporters accredited to report from the Senate floor. The directory must include each reporter's picture and news organization and a brief biography. The Secretary must issue each accredited reporter an identification badge showing the reporter's name and news organization.

    Disorderly conduct

  72. In case of a disturbance or disorderly conduct in the lobbies or galleries, the President may order them cleared. Picture taking by persons other than accredited news reporters, picture taking with floodlights or flash units, hand clapping, demonstrations, and food and beverages, are prohibited in the Senate Chamber and in the galleries.

    Introduction of visitors

  73. No introduction of a visitor or visitors in the galleries shall be made from the floor or rostrum of the Senate.

    Smoking

  74. No person is permitted to smoke in the Senate Chamber, Retiring Room, hearing rooms, or other spaces under the control of the Senate. There shall be no smoking in the visitors section of the galleries.

    Ethical conduct

  75. The Subcommittee on Committees shall appoint a Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct of the Committee on Rules and Administration consisting of four members, two from the majority and two from the minority.

    The subcommittee shall serve in an advisory capacity to a member or employee upon written request and shall issue recommendations to the member or employee.

    The subcommittee shall investigate a complaint by a member of the Senate in writing under oath received during a legislative session regarding improper conduct by a member or employee of the Senate. Improper conduct includes conduct that violated a rule or administrative policy of the Senate, that violated accepted norms of Senate behavior, that betrayed the public trust, or that tended to bring the Senate into dishonor or disrepute.

    Within 30 days after receiving a complaint, the subcommittee must meet and either make a finding of no probable cause, vote to defer action until a certain time, or proceed with its investigation. If criminal proceedings relating to the same conduct have begun, the subcommittee may defer its own proceedings until the criminal proceedings have been completed.

    The subcommittee has the powers of a standing committee to issue subpoenas pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 3.153. In order to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that improper conduct has occurred, the subcommittee may, by a vote of three of its members, conduct a preliminary inquiry in executive session to which the requirements of Rule 58 do not apply. The executive session may be ordered by a vote of three of its members whenever the subcommittee determines that matters relating to probable cause are likely to be discussed. The executive session must be limited to matters relating to probable cause. Upon a finding of probable cause, further proceedings on the complaint are open to the public. To minimize disruption of its public proceedings, the subcommittee may require that television coverage be pooled or be provided by Senate media services.

    The subcommittee may appoint special counsel to provide expert advice on how to conduct its proceedings. The subcommittee may appoint a suitable person to conduct the investigation and report findings of fact and recommendations for action to the subcommittee. If, after investigation, the subcommittee finds the complaint substantiated by the evidence, it shall recommend to the Committee on Rules and Administration appropriate disciplinary action.

    Members shall adhere to the highest standard of ethical conduct as embodied in the Minnesota Constitution, state law, and these rules. A member shall not publish or distribute written material if the member knows or has reason to know that the material includes any statement that is false or clearly misleading, concerning a public policy issue or concerning the member's or another member's voting record or position on a public policy issue.

    Lobbyists

  76. A lobbyist shall not appear before a Senate committee pursuant to the lobbyist's employment unless the lobbyist is in compliance with the law requiring lobbyist registration, Minnesota Statutes, sections 10A.03 to 10A.06. A lobbyist, when appearing before a committee, shall disclose to the committee those in whose interest the lobbyist speaks and the purpose of the lobbyist's appearance. A lobbyist shall not knowingly furnish false or misleading information or make a false or misleading statement that is relevant and material to a matter before the Senate or any of its committees when the lobbyist knows or should know it will influence the judgment or action of the Senate or any of its committees thereon.

    The Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct shall investigate a complaint by a member of the Senate in writing under oath received during a legislative session regarding improper conduct by a lobbyist. Improper conduct includes conduct that violated a rule or administrative policy of the Senate, that violated accepted norms of Senate behavior, that betrayed the public trust, or that tended to bring the Senate into dishonor or disrepute. The investigatory procedures of Rule 75 apply.

    Open meeting complaints

  77. Any person may submit to the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration a complaint that members have violated the open meeting requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 3.055. A member of the Senate may submit the complaint either orally or in writing; others must submit the complaint in writing. Whether the complaint was written or oral, the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration shall immediately forward it in writing to the Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct without disclosing the identity of the complainant. The complaint must not be further disclosed without the consent of the complainant, except to the members against whom the complaint was made, unless the complaint was made by a member of the Senate in writing under oath, in which case the investigatory procedures of Rule 75 apply.

Index to Senate Rules

Bills
Amendments made in committee of the whole 43 44
Amendments on third reading 45
Amendments to title 39
Amendments, how drawn 38
Appropriating money 35
Authors, limiting 32
Comparison of 49
Comparison report 49
Constitutional amendment 37
Correctional institution 35
Department or agency of state government 32
Disposition of bills on adjournment 51
Engrossment 50
Enrollment 50
Errors, Secretary may correct 67
Final passage 47
Germaneness 37
Introduction of 36 35 33 32
Printing 41
Provide copy to the public 41
Recall from committee 40
Recess bill introductions 33
Reconsideration 31
Referring to committee 35
Reporting 34
Resolution 53
Substitution of (companion) 49
Titles may be amended 39
Transmitting to House 48
Calendar
Placement of bills on 44
Preparation and placement of 8
Call of the Senate
23
Certificate for money
28
Committee of the Whole
Amendments made in 43 44
Bills considered in 42 11
Proceedings of 43
Report by 44
Yeas and nays recorded in Journal 43
Committee reports
Committee action 61
Report of vote in committee 60
Committees
Absence from Senate 21
Appointments 56
Chair limits 56
Committee bill introduction 32 35
Complement 57
Meeting notices 58
Meeting open to public 58
Quorum 59
Recalled from 40
Report of vote in 60
Reports - committee action 61
Standing 57
Subcommittee on committees 56 57 75 76 77
Confirmations
Senate confirmation, gubernatorial appointments 54
Consent Calendar
9
Debate, order in
20 19 18
Decorum
6
Employees
Additional 63
Appointment 62
Authority over 64
Authorized 62
Supervision by Secretary 65
Engrossment
50
Enrollment
50
Ethical conduct
75
Gallery
Disorderly conduct 72
Introduction of visitors from 73
Smoking 74
General Orders
11
Journal
How approved 66
Lobby
Disorderly conduct 72
Lobbyist
Registration 76
Members
Absence from Session 5
Call of the Senate 23
Conduct during business 25 6
Division of question 30 25
May demand "Yeas" and "Nays" 26
To vote unless excused 22
Memorials
To United States, States or Foreign Governments 53
Motions
Division of questions 25 30
May be withdrawn 14
Precedence of 15
Reconsideration 31
Stated by the President 12
To adjourn 16
To refer 46
To strike out 30
To suspend rules 17
Written 13
Open meeting complaints
77
Order of business
7
Parliamentary practice
Mason's Manual 1
Petitions and other communications
52
President
Appeal from decision of the chair 3
Calling Senate to order 3
Other duties 35 72 55 54 43 37 27 24 18 12 4 33 6
Questions
Appeal from decision of the chair 3
Division of 44 30 24 25
Final question 47
How stated and decided 24
Previous 29 15
Reconsideration 31
Quorum
59
Reconsideration
Bills, motions and questions 31
Reporters
Privileges of 71
Resolutions
Amendments to 38
Joint, memorial 53
Notice to debate 53
Retiring room
Reserved for members 70
Rules
Amendments and suspension of 17
Secretary
Duties 11 68 67 65 62 48 41 28 8 32
Employees, supervision 65
May correct errors 67
Payment of money 28
Printing of bills 41
Purchasing supplies and services 68
Transmitting bills to the House 48
Senate Chamber
Persons permitted on the floor 70
Reporters, privileges 71
Smoking not permitted 74
Senate Sessions
Called to order 3
Hours of meeting 2
Sergeant at Arms
Duties 69 70
Special Order
10
Standing committees
57
Subcommittees
58
Subcommittee on Committees 56 57 75 76 77
Subpoena
57
Supplies
Purchasing of 68
Voting
Electrical device authorized 27
Excused for conference committee 21
Members to vote unless excused 22