Table of CONTENTS. DEDICATIONS... xxxi. NCSL, ASLCS AND THE COMMISSION... xxxiii. LIST OF MOTIONS...xxxv. Pa rt I

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1 Table of CONTENTS FOREWORD... xxix DEDICATIONS... xxxi NCSL, ASLCS AND THE COMMISSION... xxxiii LIST OF MOTIONS...xxxv INTRODUCTION...1 Pa rt I Parliamentary Law and Rules Chapter 1 Rules Governing Procedure 1. Necessity for Rules of Procedure Right to Regulate Procedure Each House Determines the Rules of Its Own Proceedings Sources of Rules of Procedure...14 Chapter 2 Constitutional Provisions Governing Procedure 6. Legislative Procedure Is Controlled by Constitutional Provisions Constitutional Requirements Concerning Procedure Must Be Complied With...17 Chapter 3 Adopted Rules Governing Procedure 10. Right to Adopt Rules Joint Rules Rules Must Conform to Constitutional Provisions Right to Change Rules...21 iii

2 Mason s Legislative Manual 14. Rules Can Be Suspended Failure of a House of the Legislature to Conform to Its Rules Does Not Invalidate Its Acts Fraud Will Invalidate Acts...25 Chapter 4 Statutory Provisions Governing Procedure 20. Statutory Provisions...26 Chapter 5 Adopted Parliamentary Authority 30. Parliamentary Authority Is Usually Adopted What Parliamentary Authority Contains Effect of Adoption of Parliamentary Authority...28 Chapter 6 Parliamentary Law 35. Parliamentary Law Defined Parliamentary Law Not Determined by Any One Legislative Body Parliamentary Law Governs When Other Rules Are Not in Effect Source of Parliamentary Law Precedents and Usages...33 Chapter 7 Principles of Parliamentary Law 42. There Are Indispensable Requirements for Making Valid Group Decisions Indispensable Requirements for Making Valid Group Decisions Parliamentary Law Is a Branch of the Common Law Parliamentary Law Is Based on Principles Differences Between Public Bodies and Private Organizations...41 iv

3 Table Of Contents 47. Parliamentary Law Is Applied Differently in Public Bodies and in Private Associations Limitations on Powers Right to Act for a Body Quorum Majority Control Delegation of Powers Equality of Members There Should Be a Definite Rule Use of Technical Rules Most Direct and Simple Procedure Should Be Followed One Proposition at a Time The Immediately Pending Question Precedence of Motions Application of One Motion to Another Right to Debate Interruption of Members Speaking Seconds Not Required Debatability of Motions Amendability of Motions Finality of Actions Changing Actions Already Taken Renewal of Motions...57 Chapter 8 Powers of Courts with Reference to Legislative Procedure 71. Courts Cannot Interfere with Rule-Making Powers of Legislative Bodies Legislative Policy Is Not Within Control of the Courts Powers of Courts over Legislative Bodies Generally...62 v

4 Mason s Legislative Manual Part II De b at e Chapter 9 What Is Debatable 80. Purpose of Debate What Motions Are Debatable What Motions Are Not Debatable Motions That Permit Limited Debate Motions That Open the Main Question to Debate Questions or Suggestions Are Not Considered Debate...72 Chapter 10 Right to the Floor 90. Right to Debate Questions Recognition of Members Interruption of a Member Who Is Speaking Place of Speaking Right of Member to Hold the Floor Yielding the Floor in Debate Right of Presiding Officer to the Floor...79 Chapter 11 Debate on Question 100. There Must Be a Question Before the House to Permit Debate Debate Is Limited to the Question Before the House A Member Has a Right to Speak Only Once on a Question Member Sponsoring a Question Closing Debate...84 Chapter 12 Conduct of Debate 110. Addressing Members or Presiding Officer Reference to Executive, to Other House, or Questions Before the Courts...87 vi

5 Table Of Contents 112. Reading Papers Consideration by Paragraph Asking Questions of Members...91 Chapter 13 Decorum in Debate 120. Equality of Members in Debate Breaches of the Order of the House Procedure Under Call to Order Use of Disorderly Words in Debate Personalities Not Permitted in Debate Personal Disputes Between Members Complaints Against the Presiding Officer Chapter 14 Closing Debate 130. Bringing Question to Vote Cutting Off Debate Preventing Debate by Putting Questions to Vote Prematurely Debate Is Closed by Putting Question to Vote Part III Rules Governing Motions Chapter 15 Proposals for Action 140. Must Be a Definite Proposal for Consideration The Moving Element in Proposals Form of Proposals How Questions May Come Before the Body Motions as Presenting Questions Resolutions, Memorials and Orders Bills Committee Reports on Presenting Questions Communications and Petitions Appeals, Points of Order, Inquiries Scope of Terms Motions and Questions vii

6 Mason s Legislative Manual Chapter 16 Presentation of Motions 155. Time and Manner of Presenting Motions Acceptance of Motions Seconds to Motions Only Motions Having Higher Precedence May Be Received During Consideration of a Question Main Question May Be Considered Only Once at a Session Procedural Motions May Be Renewed Main Motions May Not Be Renewed Demands by Members Submission of Double Motions Consideration of Motions at a Future Time Motions Not Always Required for Routine Business Chapter 17 Classification of Motions 175. Classification of Motions Generally Privileged Questions Incidental Questions Subsidiary Questions Main Questions Dilatory Motions There Are an Unlimited Number of Motions Use of Classification of Motions Precedence with Reference to Main Motions Motions Change Precedence According to Use Chapter 18 List of Motions 187. List of Motions viii

7 Table Of Contents Part IV Rules Governing Particular Motions Division 1. Privileged Motions Chapter 19 Call of the House 190. Right to Compel Attendance of Members Right of Less Than a Quorum to Compel Attendance Precedence of Call of the House Who May Order a Call of the House Motion or Demand for Call of the House Bringing in Members Under a Call of the House Proceedings During a Call of the House Terminating a Call of the House Chapter 20 Motion to Adjourn 200. Precedence of Motion to Adjourn Adjournment When There Is No Provision for Future Meetings When Motion to Adjourn Is in Order Adjournment When Time for Future Meetings Is Not Fixed Right to Adjourn Form of Motion to Adjourn Motion to Adjourn Is Not Debatable Amendment to Motion to Adjourn Adjournment by Less Than a Quorum Renewal of Motion to Adjourn Absence of Quorum Does Not Adjourn Body Chapter 21 Motion to Recess 214. Distinction Between Adjournment and Recess Precedence of Motion to Recess ix

8 Mason s Legislative Manual 216. Rules Governing Motion to Recess Chapter 22 Questions of Privilege 220. What Is a Question of Privilege Privilege of the House Questions of Personal Privilege Questions Not Constituting Personal Privilege Personal Explanation Precedence of Questions of Privilege Manner of Raising a Question of Privilege Division 2. Incidental Motions Chapter 23 Appeals 230. When an Appeal Is in Order Form of Question on Appeal Debate on Appeals Amendment Laying an Appeal on the Table Vote on Appeal Reconsideration of Appeals Chapter 24 Points of Order 240. Purpose of Points of Order When Point of Order May Be Raised Limitations on Use of Points of Order Form of Point of Order Consideration of a Point of Order Submission of Point of Order to the House Precedence, Subsidiary Motions and Debate of Point of Order x

9 Table Of Contents Chapter 25 Parliamentary Inquiries and Other Requests for Information 250. Purpose of Parliamentary Inquiry Form of Parliamentary Inquiry Rules Governing Parliamentary Inquiries Request for Information from Members Requests Other Than Parliamentary Inquiries Chapter 26 Orders of the Day and Calendar 257. Nature of the Call for Orders of the Day Precedence of Call for the Regular Order or for Orders of the Day Debate and Application of Other Motions Effect of Call or Demand Consideration of Calendar or File Preparation of the Calendar General and Special Orders Motions to Set Special Orders Special Orders Set for Same Day or Same Hour Conflict Between Special Orders Made at Different Times Postponement of Special Order Special Calendar Legislative Day Chapter 27 Withdrawal of Motions 272. Right to Withdraw Motions When Consent to Withdraw Is Required Request for Leave to Withdraw a Question Motion for Leave to Withdraw a Question Effect of Withdrawal of Motions xi

10 Mason s Legislative Manual Chapter 28 Suspension of the Rules 279. Purpose of Suspension of the Rules Suspension of General Parliamentary Rules and Adopted Rules Right of Legislative Bodies to Suspend Rules Motion to Suspend the Rules Suspension of the Rules by Unanimous Consent Suspension of the Rules by Implication Vote Required to Suspend the Rules Business in Order Immediately After Suspension of the Rules Chapter 29 Objection to the Consideration of Questions 293. Purpose of Objection to Consideration To What Can Objection to Consideration Be Made Who May Raise Objection to Consideration When Objection May Be Made Form of Question on Objection to Consideration Debate and Application of Subsidiary Motions to Objection to Consideration Vote Required to Sustain Objection to Consideration Effect of Objection to Consideration Chapter 30 Order and Manner of Considering Questions 302. Order of Considering Questions Manner of Considering Questions Debate and Application of Other Motions to Questions of Order or Manner of Considering Questions xii

11 Table Of Contents Chapter 31 Voting, Nominations and Elections 306. Motions Relating to Voting Procedure Relating to Nominations and Elections Motions Relating to Voting, Nominations or Elections Chapter 32 Division of Question Demand for Division, When Right Is Given 310. Single Subject, When Mandatory When Division of Question Can Be Required When Right of Division Can Be Suspended What Questions Can Be Divided Precedence and Rules Governing Demand for a Division Division of Questions Where Single Subject or Separate Vote Rule Does Not Exist 315. When Questions May Be Divided on Motion The Motion to Divide a Question Division 3. Subsidiary Motions Chapter 33 Motion to Lay on the Table (Postpone Temporarily) 330. Purpose of Motion to Lay on the Table Application of Motion to Lay on the Table When Motion to Lay on the Table Is in Order Precedence of Motion to Lay on the Table Form of Motion to Lay on the Table Debate on Motion to Lay on the Table and Application of Subsidiary Motions Vote Required to Lay Question on the Table xiii

12 Mason s Legislative Manual 337. Effect of Laying a Question on the Table Matters Adhering to Main Question When Laid on the Table Renewal of Motion to Lay on the Table The Motion to Lay on the Table May Not Be Reconsidered Taking Question from the Table Postpone Temporarily Chapter 34 The Previous Question (Vote Immediately) 345. Use of the Previous Question Motion or Demand for the Previous Question Form of the Previous Question Precedence of the Previous Question Previous Question Debate and Subsidiary Motions Vote on the Previous Question Effect of the Previous Question Renewal of the Previous Question and Reconsideration Chapter 35 Motions Closing, Limiting or Extending Limits on Debate 355. Nature of Motions Limiting Debate Application of Motions Limiting Debate Form of Motions Limiting or Extending Debate Motions to Close, Limit or Extend Limits on Debate Effect of Closing or Limiting Debate Renewal and Reconsideration of Motions Limiting Debate Other Means of Preventing or Limiting Debate xiv

13 Table Of Contents Chapter 36 Motion to Postpone to a Certain Time or Definitely 365. Application of Motion to Postpone Definitely Precedence of Motion to Postpone Definitely Only Pending Question May Be Postponed Form of the Motion to Postpone Definitely Limited Debate Permitted on Motion to Postpone Definitely Application of Subsidiary Motions to Motion to Postpone Definitely Vote Required on Motion to Postpone Definitely Reconsideration and Renewal of Motion to Postpone Definitely Postponed Question May Become an Order of the Day Definite Distinguished from Indefinite Postponement Chapter 37 Motion to Refer or Commit 378. Purpose of Reference to Committee Precedence of Motion to Refer Application of Motion to Refer Reference of Bills to Committee Correction of Errors in Reference of Bills Variation from Rule Regarding Reference of Bills Re-Reference of Bills Motions to Take from Calendar and Refer Form of Motion to Refer Debate and Application of Subsidiary Motions to Motion to Refer Vote Required to Refer Question to Committee xv

14 Mason s Legislative Manual 389. Reconsideration and Renewal of Motion to Refer Withdrawing Questions from Committee Chapter 38 Motion to Amend 395. Test of Amendability of Question What Motions May Be Amended Precedence of Motion to Amend and of Amendments Decision on Amendment Is Final Laying Motion to Amend on the Table Form of Amendments Frivolous and Improper Amendments Amendments Must Be Germane Withdrawing Amendments and Accepting Modifications Amendment of Bills by Committees Correction of Clerical Errors Amendment of Titles of Bills Amendment of Rules Amendment of Amendments Transposition of Provisions by Amendment Amendment by Inserting Words Amendment by Striking Out Words Amendment by Striking Out and Inserting Words Amendment by Striking Out or Inserting Paragraphs Substitution of Paragraphs Consolidation and Substitution of Measures Alternative Propositions Filling Blanks Debate on Amendments Vote Required on Amendments Amendment After Governor s Certificate Equivalent Amendments xvi

15 Table Of Contents Chapter 39 Motion to Postpone Indefinitely 430. Use of Motion to Postpone Indefinitely Precedence of Motion to Postpone Indefinitely Form of Motion to Postpone Indefinitely Motion to Postpone Indefinitely Opens Main Question to Debate Application of Subsidiary Motions to Indefinite Postponement Vote Required to Postpone Indefinitely Renewal and Reconsideration of Motion to Postpone Indefinitely Division 4. Main Motions Chapter 40 The Main Motion 440. What Are Main Motions Form of Presenting Main Motions Precedence of Main Motions Motion to Ratify Motion to Expunge Motion to Adjourn Sine Die Chapter 41 Motion to Reconsider 450. Right to Reconsider What Actions Cannot Be Reconsidered Vested Rights Cannot Be Affected by Reconsideration Contracts Election or Confirmation of Officers Subject of Reconsideration Must Be Within Control of Body Reconsideration Cannot Be Used to Defeat Requirement of Notice xvii

16 Mason s Legislative Manual 456. Procedural Motions Generally Are Not Subject to Reconsideration but May Be Renewed Substantive Propositions Are Subject to Reconsideration but May Not Be Renewed Consideration of Measures Returned by Executive Veto Reconsideration in Relation to Actions of the Other House Regulation of Motion to Reconsideration by Rules When the Motion to Reconsider May Not Be Made Precedence of Motion to Reconsider When the Motion to Reconsider May Be Considered Who May Move to Reconsider Form of Motion to Reconsider Withdrawing and Renewing Motion to Reconsider Effect of Making Motion to Reconsider Effect of Reconsideration Precedence of Consideration of Motion to Reconsider Reconsideration of Amendments After Adoption of Measure Debate on Motion to Reconsider Application of Subsidiary Motions to Motion to Reconsider Vote Required for Reconsideration Chapter 42 Motion to Rescind 480. Use of the Motion to Rescind What Actions Can Be Rescinded Motion to Rescind Vote Required to Rescind Chapter 43 Procedural Main Motions 488. Procedural Main Motions xviii

17 Table Of Contents 489. Motions Relating to Future Procedure Procedural Motions with Precedence of Main Motions Withdrawing Bills from Committee Motion to Take from the Table Motion to Take from Desk Motion to Pass on Calendar, Informally Pass or Temporarily Pass Motion to Dispense with Constitutional Readings Pa rt V Qu o ru m, Vo t i n g, El e c t i o n s Chapter 44 Quorum 500. Quorum Must Be Present Computing a Quorum Who May Be Counted in Determining a Quorum Members Present Constitute the Quorum Question of No Quorum Procedure on Absence of a Quorum Less Than Quorum Can Adjourn Chapter 45 Vote Required 510. Majority of Legal Votes Is Required More Than Majority of Legal Votes Cast May Be Required Two-Thirds Vote Tie Votes and Casting Votes When a Casting Vote Is in Order Presumptions as to Effect of Members Not Voting Illegal Votes Action Must Be Within Power or Vote Is Ineffective A Legislative Body Cannot Delegate Its Powers xix

18 Mason s Legislative Manual Chapter 46 Rules Governing Voting 520. A Vote Is Required to Decide a Question Members Must Vote Unless Excused Members Voting on Questions in Which They Have a Personal Interest Putting the Question to Vote Points of Order During Voting Announcing the Vote Recording the Vote Correcting the Vote Explanation of Vote Chapter 47 Manner of Voting 530. Manner in Which Votes May Be Taken Determining Manner of Voting Voice Vote or Viva Voce Vote Voting by Division Voting by Tellers Voting on Roll Call Voting by Ballot Unanimous Consent Absentee Voting Chapter 48 Nominations 545. Manner of Making Nominations and Motions Relating to Nominations Nominations from the Floor Nominations by Committee Nominations by the Presiding Officer Motion to Close Nominations Reopening Nominations xx

19 Table Of Contents Chapter 49 Elections 552. Manner of Voting in Elections Majority Vote Required for Election Effective Date of Election Declining to Accept Elective Position Vacancies in Office Part VI Legislative Bodies Chapter 50 Election, Certification and Qualification of Members, and Discipline and Expulsion of Members 559. Evidence of Election of Membership Each House of a Legislature Is the Judge of the Election and Qualifications of Its Members Power of Legislatures to Discipline Members Right of Legislatures to Expel Members Courts Have Limited Power Concerning Expulsion of Members Investigation of Charges Against Members Chapter 51 Privilege of Members from Arrest 568. Constitutional Basis of Privilege from Arrest Present Rule Concerning Privilege from Arrest When Privilege from Arrest Applies Chapter 52 The Presiding Officer 575. Duties of Presiding Officer Refusal of Presiding Officer to Perform Duties Emergency Power of Presiding Officer Limitations on Presiding Officer Selection of Presiding Officer Motions Affecting Presiding Officer Removal of Presiding Officer xxi

20 xxii Mason s Legislative Manual 582. Rights of Presiding Officer to Debate, Vote and Introduce Business Chapter 53 Legislative Officers 584. Chief Legislative Officers Other Officers Selection and Removal of Officers Officers Are Responsible Only to Their House Chapter 54 Creation and Selection of Committees 600. Manner of Creating and Selecting Committees Appointment by the Presiding Officer Authority for Removal of Chairs or Members Chapter 55 Officers and Quorum of Committees 608. Selection of Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs Acting Chair Resignation of Chair Duties of Committee Chairs Appointment or Election of Other Committee Officers Quorum of Committees Chapter 56 Powers of Legislative Committees 615. Committees Are Agencies of the House Proposing Amendments to Bills Substitute Bills Introduction of Bills by Committee Committees Cannot Discipline Members Instructions to Committees Papers and Information for Committees Committees Functioning During Recess or After Adjournment...434

21 Table Of Contents Chapter 57 Committee Meetings 625. Committees Can Act Only When Properly Assembled Calls for Committee Meetings Special Meetings Committee Meetings While House Is in Session Attendance of Members at Committee Meetings Committee Meetings Open to the Public Speech to a Committee; Privileged Chapter 58 Procedure in Committees 632. Committee Procedure Less Formal Consideration of Measures Reconsideration by Committee Authority of Committee with Reference to Measures Recessing and Adjournment of Committee Meetings Chapter 59 Special Committees 639. Definition of Special Committee Creation and Membership of Special Committees Instructions to Special Committees Meeting of Special Committees Procedure in Special Committees Reports of Special Committees Discharge or Dissolution of Special Committees Appointment Should Immediately Follow Reference Chapter 60 Subcommittees 650. Appointment, Powers, Etc. of Subcommittees xxiii

22 Mason s Legislative Manual Chapter 61 Joint Committees 653. Joint Committees Defined Chairs of Joint Committees Quorum of Joint Committees Instructions to Joint Committees Reports of Joint Committees Voting in Joint Committees Joint Meetings of Standing Committees Chapter 62 Committee Reports 663. Preparation of Committee Reports Form of Committee Reports Authentication of Committee Reports Presentation of Committee Reports Committee Recommendations Concerning Bills Amendments Proposed by Committees Consideration of Committee Amendments Consideration of Committee Reports Presenting Committee Recommendations Reports of Committees for Information Motion to Adopt Committee Reports Minority Committee Reports Improper Committee Reports Questioning Validity of Committee Reports Substitute Measures Proposed by Committee Chapter 63 Committee of the Whole and Informal Consideration 683. Purpose of Committee of the Whole Chair of Committee of the Whole Going into Committee of the Whole Quorum of Committee of the Whole Procedure in Committee of the Whole Limitations on Committee of the Whole xxiv

23 Table Of Contents 689. Returning from Committee of the Whole to Proceeding as Body Informal Consideration Meetings of Committee of the Whole Open to the Public Chapter 64 Journals and Records 694. Constitutional Requirements Concerning Journal Journal Record of Proceedings What May Be Recorded in the Journal Journal as Showing Passage and Legality of Bills Reading of the Journal Manner of Correcting the Journal Authority to Correct Journal The Corrected Journal The Enrolled Bill The Journal and the Enrolled Bill Chapter 65 The Legislative Chamber 705. Admission to Legislative Chambers Use of Legislative Chambers Part VII Conduct of Business Chapter 66 General Order of Business 710. Usual Order of Business Motions Relating to Business Under Regular Order When Certain Motions Are in Order Taking Up Questions Out of Order Unfinished Business xxv

24 Mason s Legislative Manual Chapter 67 Required Reading of Bills 720. Bills Must Be Read on Three Separate Days Suspension of Requirement of Three Readings Three Readings of Amended Bills Journal Record of Readings Chapter 68 Procedure on Consideration of Legislation 725. Introduction of Legislation Withdrawal of Bills Bill Numbers Titles to Legislation Enacting Clauses Emergency Clauses Legislation Immediately Effective Amendment of Bills Printing of Bills First Reading of Bills Second Reading of Bills Engrossment of Bills Third Reading of Bills Passage of Bills Enrollment of Bills Authentication of Passage of Bills Presentation of Bills to the Governor Effective Date of Legislation Part VIII Re l at i o n s w i t h t h e Ex e c u t i v e a n d w i t h t h e Ot h e r House Chapter 69 Relations with the Executive 750. Messages from the Governor Confirmation of Appointments of the Governor Reference to Executive in Debate Communications with Executive xxvi

25 Table Of Contents 754. Executive Approval or Rejection of Legislation Procedure on Veto of Legislation Recalling Legislation from the Executive Legislative Oversight of the Executive Branch Legislative Review of Regulations Chapter 70 Relations with the Other House 760. The Other House and Its Members Communications Between the Houses Request for Return of Bill Delivery of Messages Conferences Between the Houses Coordination Through Committees Chapter 71 Conferences Concerning Amendments 766. Concurrence in Amendments Receding from Amendments Insisting and Adhering in Amendments Appointment of Conference Committee Conference Committees Reports of Conference Committees Vote on Report of Conference Committee Free Conference Journal Records of Conference Procedure Trends in Conference Procedure Part IX Sessions and Meetings Chapter 72 Sessions of State Legislatures 780. Calls for Special Sessions Adjournment of Legislative Sessions Joint Sessions xxvii

26 Mason s Legislative Manual 783. Adjournment for More Than a Specified Number of Days Sessions Open to the Public Pa rt X Investigations and Public Order Chapter 73 Investigations by Legislative Bodies 795. Right of a Legislative Body to Make Investigations Investigations Respecting Members Limitations on Right of a Legislative Body to Investigate Method of Investigation by a Legislative Body Legislative Investigating Committees Witnesses in Legislative Investigations Compelling Witnesses to Attend and Testify; Power to Punish for Contempt Summons, Subpoenas and Warrants Right of Investigating Committees to Sit Between Sessions Chapter 74 Public Order 805. Maintaining Order in Legislative Bodies Use of Contempt Power in Maintaining Public Order Procedure in Maintaining Public Order KEY TO CITATIONS TABLE OF CASES CITED ALPHABETICAL INDEX BY SUBJECT xxviii

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