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Senate Committee on Judiciary B

Rules of Procedure

(In addition to the Senate Rules of Order, revised statutes, and constitutional provisions)


I. Meetings: Location, Time, and Day

In accordance with Senate Rule 13.69, during session, the Senate Committee on Judiciary B will meet in Senate Committee Room E, on Tuesdays. When extraordinary circumstances require, the place, date, or time of the meeting may be changed by the chairman with the approval of the President. Upon such change in meeting day, all time periods referred to in these rules shall be extended by 24 additional hours.

II. Quorum

During session, if no quorum is obtained within 30 minutes of the posted meeting time, the committee may adjourn and the chairman may set a time on the same legislative day to convene.

During the interim, if no quorum is obtained within 30 minutes immediately following the posted time of the meeting, the committee may adjourn.

III. Committee Decorum

A. All members and witnesses shall conduct themselves in a decorous manner.

B. Upon commencement of the meeting, no person other than legislators or staff may come on to the platform where the committee members are seated.

C. Cell phones or other electronic devices with audible tones must be turned off or muted during a committee meeting. Cell phone use is not allowed during committee meetings. Members and meeting attendees should step out of the committee room to place or receive a call.

IV. Authorization to Present Instrument

A. Before being permitted to present a legislative instrument any person, other than a coauthor of a legislative instrument presenting such instrument on behalf of the author, shall first obtain and deliver to the committee secretary written authorization containing the date, legislative instrument number, presenter's name, and the author's signature.

V. Witness, Testimony, and Documentation

A. No person shall be allowed to address the committee without first signing and delivering to the committee secretary a witness card stating his name, agency, organization or other interest represented, address, and the legislative instrument number for which he is appearing.

B. All testimony shall be delivered from the witness table after the witness has been recognized by the chairman. Prepared statements, in accordance with Senate Rule 13.79, may be submitted and filed in the committee records. Any such statement containing statistical information shall cite the source thereof.

C. All handouts for presentation to the committee shall be of sufficient number for distribution to each committee member, three staff members, and the committee secretary. Handouts shall be submitted to the chairman and committee staff for approval at least 24 hours before the meeting.

D. No power point or other electronic presentations shall be presented to or before the committee unless the content has been submitted to the chairman and committee staff for approval at least 24 hours before the meeting.

VI. Amendments

All nontechnical amendments shall be requested or prepared and delivered to committee staff by noon on the working day prior to the meeting. The chairman may refuse any amendments which were not timely submitted and proceed with the hearing on the instrument or request that the author voluntarily defer the instrument to a later date. Staff is authorized to make purely technical corrections to amendments adopted by the committee.

VII. Hearing Procedure

Unless otherwise determined by the chairman, instruments on the agenda will be heard under the following procedure:

1. Noncontroversial bills shall be heard prior to those that are deemed controversial by the chairman.

2. The author or his designee will be heard on the instrument. At the author's request, discussion of the bill may include amendments proposed by the author. Thereafter, committee members may question the author on the legislation.

3. Proponents of the legislation will be heard as nearly as practicable in the order in which they submitted witness cards, followed by questions from committee members.

4. Opponents of the legislation will be heard as nearly as practicable in the order in which they submitted witness cards, followed by questions from committee members.

5. Amendments submitted by the author will be considered before other amendments. Otherwise, amendments will be considered, as nearly as practicable, in the order submitted.

6. Discussion and comments by committee members only.

7. Closing or rebuttal by the author; questions by the committee members at the discretion of the chairman.

8. Motions relative to reporting the instrument.

9. Motions relative to calendar placement or to recommend special order.

VIII. Motions

It is within the discretion of the chairman to entertain motions while testimony is pending.

IX. Voting

A. During a roll call vote, each member must cast his vote when his name is called and the committee secretary must repeat the member's vote as either "yea" or "nay."

B. No member may withhold his vote or pass unless, in his discretion, he was not present for part of the testimony or committee discussion sufficient to make an informed decision, or he has declared a conflict of interest and recused himself from the proceeding regarding the matter in controversy.

X. Time Limitations

At the discretion of the chairman, the committee may adopt time limitations on members or witnesses, or both.

XI. Committee Rules

The Rules of Order of the Senate govern all questions of committee procedure. In the absence of an applicable Senate Rule, these Committee Rules shall govern. All other questions shall be decided by the chairman who may consult Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure.



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