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Office of the House Clerk

 

House Rules

 

RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE HOUSE RULES

Resolved by this House:

That the following shall be the rules to regulate the proceedings of the House of Representatives for the 2013 and 2014 sessions:

THE SPEAKER.

1. The speaker shall take the chair every day at the hour to which the House has adjourned and shall immediately call the House to order and, after prayer and recitation of the pledge of allegiance, proceed to business if a quorum is present.

2. In the absence of a quorum, the speaker may adjourn the House to a later time or to the next session day. At all other times an adjournment shall be pronounced by the speaker on motion.

3. The speaker shall preserve order and decorum and shall decide all questions of order and discipline, upon which no debate shall be allowed except at the speaker's request, but the decision shall be subject to an appeal to the House, which must be seconded and on which no member shall speak more than once. No other business shall be in order until the disposition of such appeal.

4. The speaker shall rise to put a question or to address the House.

5. If there is any disturbance, disorderly conduct or other activity in or about the House chamber which, in the opinion of the speaker, may impede the orderly transaction of the business of the House of representatives, the speaker may take such action as the speaker deems necessary to preserve and restore order.

6. If the speaker wishes to leave the chair, a deputy speaker or a member may be designated by the speaker to perform the duties of the chair.

7. If the speaker or a deputy speaker or the member named by the speaker in accordance with the preceding rule, is absent at the hour to which the House has adjourned, the clerk shall call the House to order and first business shall be the election of an acting speaker, which shall be done immediately without debate, by ballot or otherwise, as the House shall determine, also without debate; and the person thus elected shall preside in the House and discharge all the duties of the speaker until the speaker's return. In the case of the death, resignation or permanent disability of the speaker, a deputy speaker shall then call the House to order and the first business shall be the election of a speaker, which the House shall immediately proceed to do without debate. The person thus elected shall immediately assume the duties of speaker during the continuance of the General Assembly.

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

8. There shall be such deputy speakers as determined and appointed by the speaker of the House. The speaker shall designate a deputy speaker to assume the duties of the speaker in the speaker's absence.

CHAPLAIN AND DEPUTY CHAPLAINS

9. Within one week after the appointment of the speaker, the speaker shall nominate a chaplain and up to three deputy chaplains, and if such nominations are confirmed by the House by a majority vote, the candidates so nominated and confirmed shall serve for the regular sessions and any special sessions during the 2013-2014 legislative term.

CLERK

10. The clerk shall keep a journal of the House, and shall enter therein a record of each day's proceedings, record any amendment that may be offered to any bill or resolution and record the date of filing of an agreement, award or stipulation that is filed in accordance with Joint Rule 31 or 32.

11. The clerk shall keep a calendar and shall enter daily on such calendar (1) all bills and joint resolutions received from the senate except (a) bills and resolutions which do not have the favorable report of a joint committee which shall, upon being read by the clerk, be referred without further action to the appropriate committee and (b) all bills and joint resolutions received from the senate which have not been referred by the House to any committee; and (2) all bills and resolutions favorably reported to the House from any committee and these shall be entered on the calendar in the order in which they are received. Each joint resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution and each bill so entered shall be printed and in the files and on the calendar for two session days with a file number and shall be starred for action on the session day next succeeding, except that:

(A) A bill or resolution certified in accordance with section 2-26 of the general statutes, if filed in the House, may be transmitted to and acted upon first by the senate with the consent of the speaker; and if filed in the senate, may be transmitted to and acted upon first by the House with the consent of the president pro tempore,

(B) Any bill or resolution certified in accordance with section 2-26 of the general statutes may be acted upon in the House (i) on the same session day that electronic notice of the filing and number of the bill or resolution is provided to the majority leader and the minority leader, who shall be responsible for forwarding such notice to the members of their respective caucuses, except the bill or resolution may not be acted upon less than six hours after the House is called to order or less than six hours after such notice is provided to said leaders, whichever is later, (ii) at any time on the next session day following the day that such notice is provided to said leaders, or (iii) during the last five calendar days of the session, immediately, and in any such case may be transmitted immediately to the senate,

(C) If the House refers a bill or resolution to another committee and that committee favorably reports the bill or resolution not as a substitute on the same session day as the House referral, the clerk shall immediately enter the bill or resolution on the calendar and the House may act upon it on the same session day,

(D) If the House rejects an amendment adopted by the senate, the bill or resolution after final action in the House, may be transmitted immediately to the senate, or if the senate rejects an amendment adopted by the House, the bill or resolution when received from the senate may be placed immediately on the calendar,

(E) During the last ten calendar days of the session, if the House rejects an amendment adopted by the senate, or adopts a House amendment to a bill or resolution received from the senate, or takes any action on the bill or resolution requiring further action by the senate, the bill or resolution after final action in the House, may be transmitted immediately to the senate, or if the senate rejects an amendment adopted by the House or adopts a senate amendment to a bill or resolution received from the House, or takes any action on the bill or resolution requiring further action by the House, the bill or resolution when received from the senate may be placed immediately on the calendar and may be acted upon immediately,

(F) During the last ten calendar days of the session, any bill or resolution, after final action in the House, may be transmitted immediately to the Senate,

(G) During the last five days of the session, any bill or resolution received by the House after final action by the senate may be placed on the calendar immediately and the bill or resolution may be acted upon after it has appeared on the calendar for two session days, or

(H) A report by a joint standing committee of a resolution concerning a judicial or workers' compensation commissioner nomination may be acted upon after it has appeared on the calendar for two days.

All bills and resolutions starred for action shall be acted upon only when called and any bill or resolution not acted upon shall retain its place on the calendar unless it is moved to the foot of the calendar or unless its consideration is made the order of the day for some specified time. When a bill or resolution is removed from the foot of the calendar, it shall not be acted upon before the next regular succeeding session day.

Prior to the convening of the House on each session day, the speaker shall make available on the floor of the House a list of bills and resolutions intended to be acted upon during that session day. Such list shall set forth the action intended to be taken on each bill or resolution so listed. The list shall be for informational purposes only.

12. The clerk shall retain all bills, resolutions and other papers, in reference to which any member has a right to move a reconsideration, until the right of reconsideration has expired, and no longer.

13. The clerk shall keep a record of all petitions, resolutions, joint resolutions and bills for all acts presented for consideration of the House, and said record shall be so kept as to show by one and a single reference thereto the action of the House on any specified petition, resolution, joint resolution or bill up to the time of such reference.

14. The clerk shall supervise all clerical work to be done for the House and shall supervise all employees subject to the direction of the speaker. The assistant clerk shall have the same powers and perform the same duties as the clerk, subject to the direction of the clerk. The bill clerk, the journal clerk and the calendar clerk shall perform such duties as are assigned to them by the clerk.

15. Upon the request of any member, the clerk shall provide a calendar to such member on each session day.

MEMBERS

16. When any member is about to speak in debate or deliver any matter to the House, the member shall rise and address the chair as "Mr. Speaker" or "Madam Speaker," as the case may be.

If two or more rise at the same time, the speaker shall name the member entitled to the floor, preferring one who rises in place to one who does not.

17. No member shall speak on the same question more than twice without unanimous consent of the members of the House present.

18. The speaker shall, or any member may, call to order any member who in speaking or otherwise, transgresses the rules and orders of the House. If speaking, the member shall sit down, unless permitted to explain; and if a member is guilty of a breach of any of the rules and orders, the member may be required by the House, on motion, to make satisfaction therefor, and shall not be allowed to vote or speak except by way of excuse until such satisfaction is made.

COMMITTEES AND LEADERS

19. At the opening of each session a committee on contested elections, consisting of four members, at least two of whom shall be members of the minority party in the House, shall be appointed by the speaker to take into consideration all contested elections of the members of the House and to report the facts, with their opinion thereon in a manner that may be directed by House resolution.

20. (a) Majority Election and Appointments. The majority leader shall be elected by the members of the majority party in the House and the deputy majority leaders shall be appointed by the majority leader and shall serve at the pleasure of the majority leader. The assistant deputy speaker, majority caucus chairperson, deputy majority caucus chairperson, assistant majority leaders and majority whips shall be appointed by the speaker in consultation with the majority leader, and shall serve at the pleasure of the speaker.

The chairpersons, and where appropriate, vice-chairpersons, of the standing and select committees shall be appointed by the speaker of the House and shall serve at the pleasure of the speaker, except when a chairperson is designated or appointed by the minority leader pursuant to these rules or the joint rules, in which case, the person so designated or appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the minority leader. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, during the 2013-2014 biennium (1) the chairperson of the Legislative Regulation Review Committee shall be appointed by the minority leader, and (2) the chairperson of the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee shall be appointed by the speaker of the House.

(b) Minority Election and Appointments. The minority leader shall be elected by the members of the minority party in the House and the deputy minority leaders, the minority caucus chairperson, the assistant minority leaders, the minority whips and the ranking members of each joint standing committee and select committee shall be appointed by the minority leader and shall serve at the pleasure of the minority leader except when a ranking member is designated or appointed by the speaker pursuant to these rules or the joint rules, in which case, the person so designated or appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the speaker. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, during the 2013-2014 biennium (1) the ranking member of the Legislative Regulation Review Committee shall be appointed by the speaker of the House, and (2) the ranking member of the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee shall be appointed by the minority leader.

(c) Number of Leaders. The number of members appointed to the positions of assistant majority leader and majority whip shall not exceed thirty-three per cent of the total membership of the majority party in the House. The number of members appointed to the positions of assistant minority leader shall not exceed thirty-three per cent of the total membership of the minority party in the House. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the chairpersons of the bonding subcommittees of the joint standing committee on finance, revenue and bonding may be assistant majority leaders and the ranking members of said subcommittees may be assistant minority leaders.

(d) Committees. The staff clerks of the standing and select committees shall be appointed by the speaker of the House. Chairpersons of sub-committees may be appointed by the chairpersons of the respective standing and select committees with the approval of the speaker of the House.
All standing and select committee members shall be appointed by the speaker on or before the fifth regular session day of the first year of the term, except to fill a vacancy caused by death or incapacity, or resignation or removal from the House or from a committee, and except that the speaker may appoint any member elected after the fifth regular session day of the first year of the term to any committee, within five calendar days after the member takes the oath of office. The member first named shall be chairperson. All members of standing and select committees shall serve for both sessions of the term, except that: (i) The speaker may accept the resignation, for good cause, of a member of a standing or select committee prior to the expiration of the term, and (ii) the speaker may remove a member, provided the speaker's removal of a member of the minority party shall require the concurrence of the minority leader. Chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and sub-committee chairpersons shall serve for both sessions of the term unless removed by the speaker.

(e) Referrals to Committees. (1) The House may refer any matter to a committee either before or after the deadline of that committee (i) at any regular session of the House or (ii) at a technical session of the House provided the majority leader has notified the minority leader or the minority leader's designee in writing, not later than 5 p.m. the day before the technical session, of the majority leader's intent to move for the referral, and received the approval of the minority leader or the minority leader's designee for the referral, and provided further that no matter may be recommitted at a technical session.

(2) The House may but need not refer to a committee before or after its deadline a bill or resolution that was favorably or unfavorably reported by another committee, except that every bill and resolution shall be referred to the committees on Legislative Management, Appropriations, Finance, Revenue and Bonding, Government Administration and Elections, or Judiciary if such referral is specifically required under Joint Rule 3 or subsection (e) of Joint Rule 15.

(f) Meetings in Representatives' Chamber. Committee meetings shall not be held in the representatives' chamber on session days.

REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS

21. The order of business shall be as follows:

1. Reception of petitions.
2. Reception of communications from the Governor, secretary of the state, annual and biennial reports, interim committee reports and special reports.
3. Introduction of bills and resolutions.
4. Reports of committees.
5. Reception of business from the senate.
6. Business on the calendar.
7. Miscellaneous.
RULES AND MOTIONS

22. The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in the 2000 edition of Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure shall govern the House whenever applicable and whenever they are not inconsistent with the standing rules and orders of the House or the joint rules of the senate and the House of Representatives.

23. The rules of the House shall take precedence over the joint rules of the House and senate or Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure in the event of conflict.

24. When a motion is made, it shall be stated to the House by the speaker before any debate is had thereon.

25. When a motion is stated by the speaker, or read by the clerk, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the House.
It may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before decision or amendment, but not after amendment, unless the House approves by a majority vote.

26. The question first moved shall be first put, except as modified in Rule 28.

27. If the question under debate consists of two or more independent propositions any member may move to have the question divided. If the House adopts the motion to divide, the speaker shall rule on the order of voting on the divisions of a question.

28. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received except:
1. To adjourn, which is not debatable
2. To recess
3. To postpone temporarily retaining position on the calendar
4. To pass until next session day retaining position on calendar
5. To close the debate at a specified time
6. To postpone to a certain time
7. To refer or recommit to a committee
8. To amend
9. To place at foot of calendar.
These motions shall have precedence in the order listed in this rule, except that a point of order may be raised at any time.

29. When the consideration of a question regularly on the calendar is interrupted by adjournment, the question comes up in its proper place on the next session day's calendar.

30. A vote can be reconsidered only on the next regular succeeding session day, provided there shall be no reconsideration of the vote upon the following motions: To adjourn, or to reconsider, and no question shall be twice reconsidered.

AMENDMENTS

31. (a) Amendments shall be filed with the clerk of the House before 10 a.m. on the day on which the bill or resolution is to be acted upon, except that (1) the following may each sponsor or authorize amendments at any time: The presiding officer, the majority leader or, in the majority leader's absence, the majority leader's designated deputy majority leader, the minority leader or in the minority leader's absence, the minority leader's designated deputy minority leader; (2) the presiding officer may waive the filing requirement upon the request of the majority leader or the minority leader; (3) after any amendment or amendments have been adopted, any member may offer a further amendment only if it is directly related to the amendment or amendments adopted.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this rule, if a bill or resolution has been scheduled for consideration on a date certain pursuant to a special order, all amendments relating to that bill or resolution must be filed with the clerk of the House before 5 p.m. on the last day the clerk's office is open preceding the day on which the bill or resolution has been scheduled for consideration. The only exceptions to this filing requirement shall be: (1) The persons named in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this rule may each sponsor an amendment at any time; (2) after any amendment or amendments have been adopted, any member may offer a further amendment only if it is directly related to the amendment or amendments adopted.

(c) Members may co-sponsor an amendment that is in the possession of the clerk of the House, or remove their names as co-sponsors, by submitting a written request to the clerk not later than 10 am on the day following adoption or rejection of the amendment, excluding weekends and holidays. Co-sponsorship of an amendment does not constitute co-sponsorship of the bill it would amend unless the member so specifies pursuant to Joint Rule 7(c).

(d) After a motion for passage of a bill or resolution has been made, a motion to amend the bill or resolution is in order.
A pending amendment may not be amended. No substitute amendment may be offered for a pending amendment.

(e) No independent new question may be introduced as an amendment.

(f) Whenever a bill is amended, the speaker may order that it be returned to the legislative commissioners for the purposes of re-examination pursuant to Joint Rule 13 and for reprinting as amended.

SEATS

32. Immediately after the adoption of these rules the speaker shall appoint a committee of four, who shall assign seats to all members of the House.

33. The seats assigned to members shall be their seats for their term of office.

REPRESENTATIVES' CHAMBER

34. Use of the representatives' chamber shall not be granted for non-legislative use during a General Assembly session except by a vote of the House, or by a vote of the legislative management committee or with the permission of the speaker. The speaker shall grant use of the chamber for legislative use and between General Assembly sessions.

PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICE

35. No debate shall be allowed after a question is put and while it remains undecided.

36. In all cases when a voice vote is taken without a division, the speaker shall determine whether it is or is not a vote; and in all doubtful cases the speaker shall state "The chair is in doubt." Whereupon, the speaker shall try the question again by a voice vote or roll call, as the speaker may so order.

After the speaker has declared a vote, it shall not be taken again unless by a regular motion for reconsideration, made by a member in the prevailing vote of the House.

37. If a division is called for, the House shall divide, those in the affirmative first rising from their seats and standing until counted, and afterwards those in the negative. For the purpose of more conveniently counting upon the division of the House, the floor thereof shall be divided by aisles into four divisions, to be numbered first, second, third and fourth sections, commencing on the right of the chair; for each of which divisions the speaker shall appoint a member whose seat is in said division to be a teller and to count and report to the chair.

38. In case of a tie vote or an equal division, the question shall not be passed.

39. The yeas and nays shall be taken on the roll call machine on all final action on all bills, resolutions proposing amendments to the constitution and all other substantive resolutions, except bills and resolutions on the consent calendar. On all other questions, a roll call vote shall be taken at the request of one-fifth of the members present, expressed at any time before a declaration of the vote. In the event the roll call machine is not functioning properly, the roll may be called by the clerk.

40. Every member present in the House chamber, when a question is put by the speaker, shall vote, unless excused by the speaker and no member shall absent herself or himself from the House chamber without leave, unless there is a quorum without such member's presence.

Whenever any vote is to be taken, the speaker may order the doors closed and thereupon no member shall leave the House unless by permission of the speaker, or the House, until the vote is declared, but members shall be admitted at any time.

When a vote has been taken, if any member raises a question of an excess of votes cast over the number of members present, a count of the House shall be had, and if it appears that such excess of votes exists, the speaker shall order the vote to be again taken.

41. No representative may vote or change his or her vote on a roll call after the speaker has requested that the clerk announce the tally.

42. While the House is in session, admission to the floor of the House shall be limited to members of the General Assembly, authorized members of the press, authorized staff of the General Assembly, and such other persons as may be authorized by the presiding officer. On any day during which the House is in session, lobbyists shall be prohibited from the floor of the House except during a public hearing on the floor of the House or as may be authorized by the presiding officer for purposes of recognition or ceremony.

Electronic media equipment and media personnel shall occupy only those areas designated by the presiding officer.

Proper facilities for transmitting messages to members of the House shall be provided by the clerk and administered by the messengers.

The sergeant at arms, doorkeepers and messengers shall enforce this rule and shall see that the aisles and the seats of the members are not occupied by persons other than members of the General Assembly, while the House is in session.

43. There shall be a consent calendar on which shall be entered such bills and resolutions as the majority leader and the minority leader or their designees shall agree, and shall be proposed to the House by the majority leader or the designee of the majority leader in the form of a motion to move to the consent calendar. The consent calendar may be acted upon on the day of such motion or on a subsequent day. At the request of a member made from the floor any bill or resolution shall be removed from those included in the motion. All bills and resolutions starred for action on the consent calendar shall be passed on motion without discussion unless, at any time prior to the motion for passage, a member requests from the floor removal of a bill or resolution from the consent calendar in which case such bill or resolution shall be so removed and placed on the regular calendar. Any bill or resolution so removed shall be considered as having appeared on the regular calendar for a period of time equivalent to that during which it appeared on the consent calendar.

44. Upon motion made and adopted, the House may schedule consideration of any matter appearing on the calendar for a date certain by special order, but no sooner than the later of (i) the second day, excluding weekends and holidays, after the adoption of the special order or (ii) the day after the matter first appears on the calendar double starred.

RESTRICTIONS

45. No person shall smoke in the House chamber or the gallery. No person shall conduct a conversation on a wireless telephone or similar device in the House chamber while the House is meeting. No person shall take or possess a sign, banner, placard or other display material in the gallery. The presiding officer and the sergeant at arms shall enforce this rule.

SUSPENSION OF THE RULES

46. These rules shall not be altered, amended or suspended except by the vote of at least two-thirds of the members present.

47. Motions to suspend the rules shall be in order on any session day. Suspension of the rules shall be for a specified purpose. Upon accomplishment of that purpose, any rule suspended shall be again in force.

 



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