Home>Articles>Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules – The Senate Rules – Part II

Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules – The Senate Rules – Part II

A motion to strike any measure from the file requires 21 votes

By Chris Micheli, March 27, 2020 6:08 am

This is Part ll  of Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules: The Senate Rules Part l is HERE.

Whenever a bill is authored by an individual who is no longer a Member of the Legislature, the Senate Rules Committee may authorize a committee or another Member to be the author of the bill. (Rule 26)

Upon request of a bill author, the committee chair may recommend to the Senate that amendments submitted by the author be adopted and the amended bill be printed and re-referred to that committee. (Rule 27)

A bill or resolution may not be withdrawn from committee without notice first being given to the Rules Committee and 21 votes of the Senate is required. (Rule 28)

If a Senate or Assembly bill is amended in the Senate to create a new bill or rewrite a bill, a standing committee may not place the bill on its consent calendar. (Rule 28.3)

If a Senate or Assembly bill is amended in the Appropriations Committee to create a new bill or rewrite a bill, the committee chair may report the bill to the Floor if there are insignificant costs and no significant reduction in revenue. But first the bill must be referred to the Rules Committee. (Rule 28.4)

Each measure is to be authored by a Member or legislative committee before it is considered or voted on. Each amendment must be signed by a Member or committee prior to adoption. Members of the other house may be a coauthor or principal coauthor. (Rule 28.5)

Voting on the disposition of measures by committee must be by rollcall vote only. A roll call vote on a motion to amend is only done if requested by a committee member or the author. There are specified exemptions from this rule. The President pro Tempore or Minority Floor Leader may add his or her vote to any measure provided the outcome of the vote is not changed. (Rule 28.7)

Any bill referred to the Appropriations Committee that does not appropriate money may not be set for hearing and be reported promptly to the Senate Floor if the committee chair determines that there are insignificant state costs and no additional funds will be appropriated, and the bill will not result in significant reduction in revenues. (Rule 28.8)

Any bill that has a digest that indicates the bill imposes a state-mandated local program on local agencies or school districts must be referred to the Appropriations Committee, and the bill cannot be referred to the Governance & Finance Committee. When the Assembly amends and passes a Senate bill, any senator can request the bill be re-referred to the Appropriations Committee if the bill imposes a state-mandated local cost without reimbursements or contains a complete disclaimer. (Rule 28.9)

A display bill may not be heard or acted upon in any committee. (Rule 28.10)

When bills are reported from committee, they are placed on the Daily File, first on the second reading file and then on the third reading file. Bills returning from the Assembly must on placed on the Unfinished Business file with an analysis provided to each senator. An inactive file must be kept. (Rule 29)

A motion to strike any measure from the file requires 21 votes. If that occurs, the measure may not be acted upon for the remainder of the session. (Rule 29.2)

The consideration of a measure that has been amended by amendments from the floor is not in order until the amended measure has been in print for not less than one legislative day. And it will be placed on the second reading file. (Rule 29.3)

The Senate may not pass a bill that approves a memorandum of understanding until the final version of the MOU is received by the Senate Secretary and made available for review for seven legislative days. (Rule 29.4)

No measure may be considered for passage until a copy of the measure is on the desk of each Member in either printed or electronic form. ((Rule 29.5)

No conference committee on any bill, other than the Budget Bill and trailer bills, may approve any substantial policy change in any bill if that substantial policy change has been defeated in a policy committee of the Senate during the current legislative session. (Rule 29.6)

Before the adoption of a conference report by the Senate, any senator may raise a point of order and put the question whether the conference committee met in public and was attended by at least two members of both houses and approved by at least two members of both houses. (Rule 29.7)

With the exception of the Budget Bill and trailer bills, no measure may be considered until an analysis has been prepared and placed upon the desk of all senators, unless otherwise ordered by the President pro Tempore. No amendment is in order until the amendment has been reviewed by the Floor Analysis Unit. (Rule 29.8)

No conference report may be adopted by the Senate until it has been in print for two days prior to being taken up in the Senate. (Rule 29.9)

If the bill analysis of proposed floor amendments, other than the Budget Bill, discloses that the amendments create a new bill or rewrite the current form of the bill, the measure shall be reprinted and referred to the Rule Committee. When amendments rewrite a bill, the Rules Committee shall refer the bill to a standing committee. The committee can hold the bill, return it to the Floor, or re-refer it to the fiscal committee. If the amendments create a new bill, the bill is referred to the Rules Committee, which shall hold the bill or refer it to the appropriate standing committee. (Rule 29.10)

Any measure or subject matter may be made a special order by a majority of those voting. (Rule 30)

Messages from the Governor or from the Assembly may be introduced at any stage of business, with minor exceptions. (Rule 31)

All Senate measures are to be engrossed after each amendment and before final action is taken on them in the Senate. (Rule 32)

All Senate measures must be enrolled immediately following final passage and receipt from the Assembly. Once that occurs, it is authenticated by the Senate Secretary and the Assembly Chief Clerk and transmitted to the Governor or Secretary of State. (Rule 33)

A motion may not be debated until it is distinctly announced by the presiding officer. (Rule 34)

When a senator desires to address the Senate, he or she rises in place, addresses the presiding officer, and proceeds to speak once recognized. A senator cannot speak more than twice in any one debate on the same day. A senator cannot be interrupted when speaking and no question may be asked of him or her except through the presiding officer. The author has the privilege of closing the debate. (Rule 35)

When a senator is called to order, he or she shall sit down. (Rule 36)

A person other than a Member of the Senate may not address the Senate while it is in recess, except when the Senate meets as a committee of the whole. (Rule 37)

When amendments to a measure are reported by a committee or offered from the floor, the amendments must be in writing. (Rule 38)

Every amendment proposed must be germane, which means it must relate to the same subject as the original measure under consideration. A point of order may be raised on germaneness. The answer to the question is determined by the Rules Committee. (Rule 38.5)

Amendments to a measure offered from the floor are not in order until a copy of the proposed amendments are provided by the author and placed upon the desks of the senators. (Rule 38.6)

When an amendments proposed is laid on the table, it may not carry with or prejudice the measure. (Rule 39)

If a question in debate contains more than one distinct proposition, any senator may have the question divided. (Rule 40)

The previous question shall be voiced by a senator in a specified form. If a majority of those senators present and voting demand a vote, that vote will occur after the author closes on the measure. (Rule 41)

When a motion is placed “on call,” the presiding officer shall order the doors closed and the Secretary calls the names of the absent members. Members cannot leave the Senate Chamber and those absent can be placed into custody by the Senate Sergeant at Arms. A recess cannot be taken during a call of the Senate. A motion to adjourn is not in order during a call of the Senate. (Rule 42)

A motion to reconsider the vote may be made by any Member on the day on which the vote was taken. Reconsideration may only be granted once. It can be considered the same day or the next day, but not further postponed unless 30 senators agree.  (Rule 43)

An action where a bill that has been passed or defeated may not be rescinded without the affirmative vote of 27 senators. (Rule 43.5)

Whenever a roll call is required or is ordered or is demanded by three senators, every senator shall respond without debate. Senators are called alphabetically and may not vote or change his or her vote after the announcement of the vote by the presiding officer. The President pro Tempore and the Minority Floor Leader may add his or her votes provided the outcome is not changed. (Rule 44)

When a senator declines or fails to vote, he or she may be required to assign his or her reasons and may be excused by the presiding officer. Unless excused, he or she is required to vote. (Rule 45)

When any senator is presiding over the Senate, he or she shall vote on roll call votes. (Rule 46)

Certain actions require 32 votes of the Senate. Certain actions require 27 votes. Some actions require 22 or 21 votes. (Rule 47)

A bill or constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote may be amended by a majority vote of those present and voting. (Rule 48)

The proceedings of the Senate are entered in the Journal as concisely as possible. Every vote must be recorded and the senator presenting the measure is noted. (Rule 49)

The titles of all measures when introduced and acted upon, as well as a brief statement of the content of information presented to the Senate is printed in the Journal. (Rule 50)

Messages from the Governor are printed in the Journal, unless otherwise ordered. (Rule 51)

It is the duty of the Senate Secretary to order necessary printing and to audit and approve all bills for printing to be charged to the Senate. (Rule 52)

The Office of State Publishing may not charge any printing to the Senate unless there is a written order from the Senate Secretary. (Rule 53)

Persons who are not Members, officers or employees of the Senate may be admitted to the Senate Chamber only as provided in this rule. No one, other than Members, can engage in influencing legislation in the Senate Chamber. A registered lobbyist may not be admitted to the Senate Chamber while in session. Any one may attend hearings in Room 215 or Room 3191. Appropriate attire is required on the Floor. This rule can be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the senators. (Rule 55)

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