CHAPTER 12. VOTING
Rule 12.1. Members required to vote; explanation of vote
A. Every senator who is in the Senate Chamber when a question is put shall give his vote unless the Senate, for reasons assigned, excuses him. No senator shall be allowed to make any explanation of a vote he is about to give or ask to be excused from voting after the Secretary, under order of the Senate, has opened the voting machine or, if the voting machine is out of order, after the Secretary, under order of the Senate, has commenced to call the yeas and nays.
B. On a debatable question each member shall be allowed to explain his vote in writing only, and the explanation shall be incorporated in the Journal, if requested. The written explanation shall be presented to the Secretary not later than fifteen minutes before adjournment on the same legislative day.
Rule 12.2. President's vote; tie vote
The President shall not be required to vote except in case of a tie vote.
Rule 12.3. Presence in chamber required for voting
No senator shall be permitted to vote on any question unless he is present in the Senate Chamber.
Rule 12.4. Record vote requirement
When opposition has been raised to any question requiring action of the Senate and the voting machine is in use, the question shall be disposed of by the senators casting their votes on the voting machine, and the votes shall be recorded in the Journal.
Rule 12.5. Putting the question
Before putting any debatable question, the President shall ask: "Are you ready for the question?" When it is evident that no senator wishes to speak, the question shall be put by the President and the voting machine shall be opened by the Secretary and shall be used to record the vote of the senators. The President shall put the question in substantially the following form: "As many as are in favor of (as the question may be), will vote yes (green light) when the machine is opened; those opposed will vote no (red light). The Secretary will open the machine." After the senators have voted, the President shall order the Secretary to close the machine and shall announce the vote.
Rule 12.6. Voting machine out of order
At any time when the voting machine is out of order, as determined by the President or by a majority of the members present and voting, and a quorum call or a roll call vote is ordered, the Secretary shall call the names of the members alphabetically, except that the President's name shall be called last.
Rule 12.7. Change of vote
On a roll call vote any member shall be privileged to vote or change his vote after the vote-recording equipment has started or the roll has been called, by rising in his seat and announcing his vote before the result of the vote is announced by the presiding officer.
Rule 12.8. Declaration of vote by presiding officer
The presiding officer shall declare all votes. If any senator rises to question a vote, the presiding officer shall order a poll of the vote of each member without further debate.
Rule 12.9. Vote after announcement of decision prohibited
When the yeas and nays are taken on any question, no senator shall be permitted, under any circumstances whatever, to vote after the decision is announced from the chair.
Rule 12.10. Vote required to pass legislative instruments
A. No bill or concurrent resolution shall be adopted unless at least a majority of the members elected to the Senate vote in favor thereof.
B. No joint resolution shall be adopted unless two-thirds of the members elected to the Senate vote in favor thereof.
C. Except as provided in Paragraph (D), a resolution may be adopted by a majority of the members present and voting, without the necessity of a roll call vote.
D. A resolution introduced on the last day of a legislative session may be adopted only by a majority of the members present and voting by roll call vote.
Amended by SR 5 of 2020 1st EX.
Rule 12.11. Vote required for amendments
A. Amendments to bills, including amendments to joint resolutions, and amendments to concurrent resolutions shall be adopted by the favorable vote of a majority of the members present and voting.
B. Concurrence in amendments proposed by the House to Senate bills shall require the same vote as is required for final passage of the bill.
Rule 12.12. Conference Committee reports; consideration
A. A conference committee report shall be a privileged report. The Secretary shall give notice of its receipt and shall distribute the report on the legislative day of its receipt at the first opportunity without interrupting pending business. The question of consideration of a conference committee report shall lie over until the appropriate order of business during the Morning Hour on the next legislative day. The Secretary shall place each conference committee report on the calendar in the order in which it was received for consideration. A motion to suspend the provisions of this Paragraph shall be a debatable motion.
B. The question upon consideration, unless a substitute or other main motion be made, shall be the question of the adoption of the conference committee report.
C.(1) On the last calendar or legislative day of a session, after the Secretary has given notice of the receipt of and has distributed copies of a conference committee report which is confined to resolving the differences between the two houses regarding the amendments which were rejected by the house of origin and recommending technical amendments, the Senate shall consider the conference committee report upon motion, duly adopted, of any member. The motion to take up the consideration of a conference committee report shall be deemed a privileged incidental motion and shall be in order during any order of business unless another motion or instrument is pending.
(2) If a conference committee report on any appropriation bill supplementing the General Appropriation Act, the Capital Outlay Bill, the bill appropriating funds for the judicial branch, the bill appropriating funds for the legislative branch, or the omnibus bond authorization bill is received on the last day, the provisions of Subparagraph(C)(1) of this Rule shall apply to the consideration of such a conference committee report even if the conference committee report is not confined to resolving the differences between the two houses regarding the amendments which were rejected by the house of origin and recommending technical amendments.
(3) The provisions of Joint Rule 19 shall apply to conference committee reports on the General Appropriation Bill.
D. Concurrence in the report of a conference committee shall require the same vote as is required for final passage of the bill. Prior to the vote being taken, a member of the conference committee shall explain to the members the substantive changes, if any, proposed to be made in the bill by the conference committee.
SR 63 of 2001 RS; SR 21 of 2006 RS.
Rule 12.13. Tie vote
If a tie vote results in the vote on any question, the motion shall fail to pass.
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