Connecticut General Assembly
State Capitol | Hartford, Connecticut | 06106

State Capitol | Hartford, Connecticut | 06106

Connecticut General Assembly
 
State Capitol | Hartford, Connecticut | 06106
Connecticut General Assembly Connecticut General Assembly
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Glossary - Legislative Terms & Definitions

A


  • ACCEPTANCE AND PASSAGE
    Short for of the floor motion for acceptance of the joint committee's favorable report and passage of a bill, as in "I move acceptance and passage." The motion is made by the member bringing a bill up for debate for the first time.

  • AD HOC COMMITTEE ON REFERENCE
    A special committee of Senate and House leaders convened to settle disputes over referrals of bills to committees.

  • ADJOURN
    To end a committee meeting or a legislative session (see also Sine Die). Requires a motion and a second. The motion is not debatable.

  • ADOPT
    To approve an amendment, motion, or resolution.

  • AGENDA (COMMITTEE)
    A list of proposed actions to be taken at an upcoming committee meeting,. Must be published at least one day before the scheduled meeting.

  • AGENDA (SENATE)
    A list of all business before the Senate (including agency and task force reports and communications from the governor) that needs either to be referred to committee or that has been reported out of committee an is ready for the calendar and printing. The Senate agenda is not distributed except to senators.

  • AMEND
    To change the language of a bill, resolution, or motion.

  • AMENDMENT
    A written proposal to change the language of a bill or resolution, prepared by the Legislative Commissioners' Office. Each amendment is identified by an LCO number and given a letter of designation (such as, House or Senate "A") by the presiding officer when formally introduced on the floor. The letter designation is sometimes referred to as a "schedule", as in House amendment schedule "A".

  • AMENDMENT CLERKS
    The majority and minority staff members who log in amendments and distribute photocopies of them to members of their respective caucuses.

  • APPEAL
    A request that the members of the full body overrule the presiding officer's decision to a question of parliamentary procedure. Requires a motion and a second and can be debated.

  • AUDITORS
    Short for Auditors of Public Accounts. Two legislative appointees of different political parties who serve four-year terms. Their office audits the accounts of state government agencies and institutions that receive, spend, or administer state funds.

B


  • BILL
    A written proposal to change existing law or enact a new law prepared by the Legislative Commissioners' Office.

  • BILL ANALYSIS
    A description of the legal effect of a bill in non-legal language prepared by the Office of Legislative Research.

  • BILL BOOK
    A loose-leaf book containing copies of all bills referred to a committee, compiled for each committee member by committee staff.

  • BILL NUMBER
    Number given to each bill by the House or Senate clerk when it is first introduced in a legislative session. Senate bills are numbered 1 to 4999; House bills are numbered 5000 and up.

  • BILL ROOM
    A central location providing copies of bills, files, legislative bulletins, bill lists, and House and Senate calendars.

  • BILL STATUS
    The stage in the legislative process that a bill has reached at a given time. A summary of a bill's status shows al the action taken on the bill up to the moment the status is requested.

  • BLUE BOOK
    The common name for the state Register and Manual. A compendium of state facts published annually by the secretary of the state.

  • BOND COMMISSION
    A statutory body, chaired by the governor, that allocates money to projects authorized for bonding by the General Assembly. Members represent the executive and the legislative branches. They usually meet monthly. Bond funds authorized by the legislature cannot be spent without the commission's approval.

  • BOND PACKAGE
    The bill or bills authorizing state borrowing for specified purposes, usually capital projects.

  • BOX
    A motion for final action to defeat a bill in committee. The term derives from the fact that defeated bills are returned to the committee's bill box until the end of the session.

  • BRACKETS
    Used to show the words in an existing law that a bill or amendment proposes to delete. Brackets are placed before and after the deleted word or group of words.

  • BUDGET BILL
    Usually refers to the annual proposal specifying appropriations for the state agencies for the coming fiscal year. Bills that change the statutes to implement the budget may also be called "budget bills".

  • BUDGET RESERVE FUND
    The fund to which any state surplus remaining after the close of the fiscal year is transferred. Limited to a maximum of 5% of the net General Fund appropriations for the fiscal year in progress.

  • BULLETIN
    Short for Legislative Bulletin. The document showing the schedule for legislative sessions, committee meetings, public hearings and other events and containing notes of interest to legislators and staff. It is published daily when the General Assembly is in session.

  • BULLETIN CLERK
    The sessional staff member that compiles the Bulletin.

  • BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR
    Bills awaiting action by the full Senate or House.

  • BUSINESS ON THE CLERK'S DESK
    Various items requiring legislative attention, such as agency reports, communications from the governor, and bills requiring purely procedural rather than substantive action, such as referral to committee, reading into the record, or printing for the calendar.

C


  • CALENDAR
    The daily list of bills awaiting action by the full Senate or House.

  • CALENDAR CLERKS
    The staff members in the Senate and House clerks' offices who compile the calendars.

  • CALENDAR NUMBER
    The number each bill receives when it is placed on the calendar for the first time. Bills are renumbered in chronological order based on when they go onto the calendar. Thus, a low calendar number indicates a bill that has been awaiting action since early in the session.

  • CALL THE BILL OR AMENDMENT
    The announcement by the House or Senate clerk of the item about to be debated, usually by number, title, and reporting committee (for a bill) or by number, letter, and sponsor (for an amendment).

  • CAPITOL POLICE
    Members of the legislative staff who provide security for the Capitol, the Legislative Office Building, and grounds.

  • CATS AND DOGS
    Term used to refer to appropriations or bond authorizations for local purposes advocated by legislators on behalf of particular constituents or groups.

  • CAUCUS
    (1) A group of legislators made up of all members of a particular political party or a group within a party.
    (2) A private meeting of such a legislative group.

  • CAUCUS STAFF
    Partisan staff.

  • CHAMBER
    (1) The room where the House or the Senate meets.
    (2) The House or Senate itself.

  • CHANGE OF REFERENCE
    The action by which one committee sends a bill to another committee.

  • CIRCLE, THE
    The Senate. The name comes from the arrangement of senator's seats.

  • CLAIMS AGAINST THE STATE
    A petition for the payment or refund of money by the state or for permission to sue the state. Most claims are decided by the claims commissioner, who is a gubernatorial appointee. But the General Assembly must approve the commissioner's recommendations for payments that exceed $7,500, that allow someone to sue the state, or that waive the time limits for filing claims.

  • CO-SPONSOR
    To formally include a legislator's name on the list of a bill's amendment's introducers.

  • COMBINE
    A committee's action to draft a new bill based on the provisions of two of more proposed bills.

  • COMMISSIONER'S STATEMENT
    The explanation the legislative commissioners attach to a bill or resolution favorably reported by a committee to the Senate or House when they make any change in it other that correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, or typographical errors. The statement must describe each change, state where it was made, and give a reason for each change.

  • COMMITTEE BILL
    A fully drafted bill based on a proposed bill.

  • COMMITTEE BILL DEADLINE
    The date set in the rules by which committees must vote on which proposed bills they want the Legislative Commissioner's Office to draft in formal statutory language.

  • COMMITTEE BILL RECORD
    The committee clerk's record of each bill referred to the committee.

  • COMMITTEE CLERK
    The staff member assigned to each committee responsible for maintaining its records, filing committee notices, monitoring public hearings, and performing administrative tasks for the committee.

  • COMMITTEE, JOINT STANDING
    A group of designated senators and representatives with authority to raise and consider legislative proposals dealing with a subject area set forth in the Joint Rules. Committee members are appointed for a full two-year term. Joint standing committees tend to carry over from one biennium to the next.

  • COMMITTEE, SELECT
    A group of designated senators and representatives, similar to a joint standing committee but without the authorization to report bills directly to the Senate or House.

  • COMMITTEE STAFF
    The staff who assist the committee chairmen and members. Usually consists of at least a clerk, an assistant clerk, and a secretary.

  • CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
    A committee of senators and representatives appointed by the presiding officers of their respective houses to resolve conflicts when the Senate and House pass different versions of the same bill. The committee usually consists of three members from each house. The report of a committee of conference must be adopted by both houses without amendment or the bill fails.

  • CONFORM TO COPY
    To make an exact copy of a bill with appropriate stamps indicating its status. Conformed copies are made by the clerk of the house where the bill originated from the duplicate copy kept on file in the clerk's office. Conformed copies are made when the original bill is misplaced.

  • CONSENT CALENDAR
    A group of bills that all members of a committee or house agree to pass without debate with one roll call vote. A single member may have a bill removed from the consent calendar merely by asking.

  • CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
    A proposed change to the state constitution adopted by a resolution and submitted to the voters, If a resolution containing the amendment passes by a three-fourths majority of each house, the proposed amendment appears on the ballot at the next statewide election. If the resolution passes by a simple majority, it must be submitted to the next General Assembly and passed again before it can be submitted to the voters.

  • CONVEYANCE BILL
    A bill approving the transfer of state property.

D


  • DEAD
    As in, "The bill is dead." Means a bill is defeated or otherwise removed from consideration for the rest of the session.

  • DEFICIENCY
    A budget shortfall between an agency's appropriation and the amount it needs to spend in a fiscal year.

  • DEFICIENCY BILL
    A bill making additional appropriations to state agencies that need more funds to complete a fiscal year.

  • DELETE
    Instructions in an amendment to remove designated wording, lines, or sections from a bill.

  • DISAGREEING ACTION
    A bill one house must consider for the second time because the other house passed a different version of it.

  • DIVIDE THE QUESTION
    A motion to take separate votes on parts of a bill that involve unrelated subjects. The motion is debatable as to the form of the division.

  • DOORKEEPERS
    Officers of the General Assembly appointed by the Senate or House who serve as messengers under the direction of the clerks.

  • DOUBLE-STARRED
    A calendar designation indicating that a bill is ready for floor debate.

  • DRAFT
    (1) To write a bill, resolution, or amendment.
    (2) A written version of a bill, resolution, or amendment.

  • DUMMY BILL OR DUMMY
    A bill without much content raised or reported out by a committee to meet a deadline specified in the rules in order to allow time to formulate and later substitute a more substantive bill.

E


  • E-CERT
    Short for emergency certification, see below.

  • EFFECTIVE DATE
    The date the bill becomes a law. Unless otherwise designated, all bills that amend the statutes are effective October 1 in the year passed. All special acts are effective upon passage.

  • EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION
    A procedure by which the speaker and president pro tempore jointly propose a bill and send it directly to the House or Senate, floor for action without any committee referrals or public hearings.

  • ENACTING CAUSE
    The standard language found at the beginning of every bill: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened.: In resolutions, the enacting clause reads: "Resolved by this Assembly"

  • ENGROSSED COPY
    The final printed version of an enacted bill or resolution prepared by the Legislative Commissioners' Office.

F


  • FAVORABLE CHANGE REFERENCE
    Action by which one committee refers a bill to another committee with a recommendation favoring the bill's passage.

  • FAVORABLE REPORT, JOINT
    Joint committee's recommendation to the full General Assembly that it pass a bill (also known as "JF").

  • FILE A BILL OR AMENDMENT
    Formally introduce a bill or propose an amendment by giving a signed copy to the House or Senate clerk.

  • FILE COPY
    Printed version of bill ready for consideration by the full House or Senate.

  • FILE NUMBER
    Number given to each bill reported out of a committee and printed and ready for House or Senate action. If a new version of a bill is printed because of amendments by one house, it receives a new file number. Files are numbered from one ("1"), regardless of whether they are House or Senate bills.

  • FILED WITH LCO
    Bill status notation indicating that a committee has sent a bill to the Legislative Commissioners' Office for transmittal either to another committee or the Senate or House floor.

  • FILES, THE
    Compilation of all the file copies, provided in binders on each member's desk.

  • FINAL ACTION
    Any action that the General Assembly or one of its committees takes to dispose of a bill or resolution for the remainder of the session.

  • FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (FAC)
    Committee that approves certain budget transfers and appropriations when the General Assembly is not in session. It consists of the governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, comptroller, and five members of the Appropriations Committee representing majority and minority parties and appointed by Senate and House leaders.

  • FISCAL ANALYSIS, OFFICE OF (OFA)
    The nonpartisan staff office responsible for assisting the legislature in its analysis of tax proposals, the budget, and other fiscal issues.

  • FISCAL NOTE
    Statement prepared by the Office of Fiscal Analysis of the cost or savings resulting from a bill or amendment. Required for every bill or amendment considered by the House or Senate.

  • FISCAL STATEMENT
    A written explanation in addition to the fiscal note required for proposed Senate amendments that would reduce state revenues or increase state expenditures. The statement must explain the decrease in expenditures or the source of increased revenues required to balance the state budget.

  • FISCAL YEAR
    The state's budget year which runs from July 1 to June 30.

  • FLOOR
    (1) The full Senate or House, as in "sending a bill to the floor."
    (2) Also used to indicate who is allowed to speak at a particular time as in "having the floor."

  • FOOT OF THE CALENDAR
    A parliamentary device used in the Senate to hold bills. The "foot of the calendar" is a special category at the end of the calendar. Bills may be placed or removed from the foot only by a special motion.

  • FULL DRAFT
    A bill written in statutory from ready for action by a committee.

G


  • GENERAL FUND
    The money used for expenditures authorized by the budget and not otherwise restricted by the statute.

  • GERMANE
    The characteristic that fulfills the parliamentary requirement that substitute bills and amendments relate to the same subject as the original proposal.

  • GO LIST
    The list of bills on the calendar that the House intends to take up on a particular session day.

  • GOVERNOR'S BILLS
    Bills introduced by legislative leaders of the governor's party at the request of the governor's request.

  • GUIDES
    League of Women Voters volunteers who conduct tours of the Capitol and Legislative Office Building.

  • GUT
    To amend a bill to remove its key provisions; to weaken a bill drastically.

H


  • HOUSE
    (1) Either of the two chambers of the General Assembly.
    (2) When capitalized, short for the House of Representatives.

  • HOUSE BILL
    A bill introduced by a member of the House of Representatives. House bills are numbered from 5000.

  • HOUSE CLERK
    An officer elected by the House with administrative and procedural responsibilities for keeping track of House business.

  • HOUSE OF ORIGIN
    The chamber where a bill is introduced and which debates and votes on the bill first.

I


  • IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION
    A motion asking that a matter be given priority over other business, sometimes without following all the normal procedural steps.

  • IMMEDIATE TRANSMITTAL
    A motion to send a bill directly to the other house or governor without allowing the normal time for possible reconsideration.

  • IMPLEMENTER
    A bill that changes statutes to put into effect or "implement" the provisions of the adopted state budget. Implementers are often referred to by the agency or department most affected, as in "Education Implementer."

  • IN CONCURRENCE
    Motion to pass a bill in the same form as already passed in the other chamber.

  • INFORMATION ROOM
    Provides information on bill status, committee meetings, and public hearings to legislators and the public.

  • INTERIM
    The period between regular sessions of the General Assembly.

  • INTERN
    A high school or college student who works for the General Assembly during the session in return for school credit. The program is run by a special Legislative Internship Committee.

  • INTRODUCE
    To formally present a proposal for consideration in the General Assembly.

J


  • JF
    Short for joint favorable report.

  • JF DEADLINE
    The date by which each committee must report out bills or resolutions for further consideration by other committees or the full General Assembly. The committee deadlines are listed in the Joint Rules and all reports must be submitted to the Legislative Commissioners' Office by 5:00 p.m. on the dates listed.

  • JF REPORT
    A report compiled by the committee clerk on a standard form for each favorably reported bill. Among other things, the JF report summarizes public hearing testimony and lists organizations that support and oppose the bill.

  • JFS
    Short for joint favorable substitute; an amended bill reported favorably by a committee.

  • JOINT COMMITTEE
    See, COMMITTEE, JOINT STANDING

  • JOINT FAVORABLE
    Short for joint favorable report. A joint committee's recommendation to the full General Assembly that it pass a bill.

  • JOINT FAVORABLE SUBSTITUTE
    A committee motion to give a favorable report to a new version of a particular bill. Also known as "JFS".

  • JOINT UNFAVORABLE
    A committee motion to report out a bill with a recommendation that it not pass.

  • JOURNAL
    The official record of the events and actions that occur in the Senate and House on each session day. There are separate journals for the Senate and House,.

  • JOURNAL CLERKS
    The House and Senate employees responsible for compiling the daily journals.

L


  • LAW REVISION COMMISSION
    A 17-member non-partisan commission composed of legislators, judges, attorneys, and a professor of law.  The Commission reviews proposals for law revision and judicial decisions impacting on Connecticut law and recommends appropriate revisions.  The Commission office consists of staff attorneys and support staff.

  • LCO ATTORNEYS
    The nonpartisan lawyers who draft bills, resolutions. and amendments. Each committee has an LCO attorney or attorneys assigned to it.

  • LCO NUMBER
    A number assigned to each item drafted in LCO. Each version of a bill and each amendment has a different LCO number. The number is used to identify versions of a bill or amendments to a bill before they receive their number or letter designations.

  • LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS
    The two part-time attorneys of different political parties appointed by the General Assembly who head the Legislative Commissioners' Office. They advise the legislature and review the final drafts of each favorably reported bill. They serve staggered four-year terms.

  • LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE (LCO)
    The nonpartisan office headed by the legislative commissioners consisting of all the LCO attorneys and their support staff. They provide bill and amendment drafting services and publish the annual public and special acts and the Connecticut General Statutes.

  • LEGISLATIVE GUIDE
    The handbook published annually by the Legislative Management Committee that contains information concerning the General Assembly, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers of legislators; committee assignments; and legislative rules, guidelines and regulations.

  • LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
    The documentation of the process of passing a law that includes public hearing testimony and floor debate. Used when researching legislative intent.

  • LEGISLATIVE INTENT
    Used by courts to interpret statutes when the actual wording of the law is ambiguous or unclear. It consists of members' statements made during debate on a bill. Sometimes members make statements about a bill's meaning during debate specifically to establish legislative intent.

  • LEGISLATIVE LEADERS
    The Senate president pro tempore, majority, and minority leaders and the speaker and majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives.

  • LEGISLATIVE LIAISON
    An employee of a state agency assigned to monitor legislation affecting the agency and to assist legislators and their staffs in dealing with that agency.

  • LEGISLATIVE LIBRARY
    The reference library and library staff available to legislators and legislative staff. Among other things, it contains all legislative research reports, legislative documents, copies of state and federal statutes, court opinions, and state and federal regulations.

  • LEGISLATIVE MANAGEMENT
    (1) Short for the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, a 26-member legislative committee chaired by the House speaker and the Senate president pro tempore. The committee oversees the operations of the General Assembly, including personnel, budget, and buildings and grounds. It also raises and reports on bills and resolutions affecting laws governing the legislative branch.
    (2) The nonpartisan staff responsible for administering legislative organization, operations, and facilities under the committee's direction.

  • LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
    The procedure by which a bill becomes a law.

  • LEGISLATIVE RECORD INDEX
    A book published annually by the House and Senate clerks that shows action taken on each bill and resolution introduced in the General Assembly in the previous session.

  • LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH, OFFICE OF (OLR)
    A nonpartisan office providing committee staffing, policy research, bill analyses, and public act summaries. Each committee except Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding is assigned its own OLR researcher.

  • LIN
    Legislative Information Network, a computer system providing management tools, documents preparation, and searchable databases.

  • LINE NUMBERS
    Numbers that appear in the margins of each bill, resolution, and amendment. Used as reference points in discussing the wording in legislation and in drafting amendments.

  • LIST OF BILLS
    Printed listing of bill titles, numbers, suggested committees referrals, and statements of purpose, for bills filed in the Senate and House clerks' offices. Acceptance of a list of bills by the House constitutes each bill's first reading and automatically refers the bills to their designated committees. In the Senate, bills must also appear on the Senate agenda.

  • "LIVE" NUMBERS
    Numbers belonging to bills that have been raised and has a public hearing according to the rules that can be used for a proposal that the committee wishes to JF that has not been raised or heard. Sometimes called a "good number."

  • LOBBYIST
    Person required to register with the Ethics Commission who spends or is paid at least $2,000 a year to influence legislation. Lobbyists are required to wear blue badges stating their names and whom they represent. They may not enter either chamber; the areas immediately outside the entrances to them; or the Legislative Commissioners', the Legislative Research, or Fiscal Analysis offices.

  • LONG SESSION
    The regular five-month session of the General Assembly held in each odd-numbered calendar year.

M


  • MACHINE IS LOCKED
    The announcement the presiding officer makes when closing the automatic roll call voting machine. Members may still vote after the machine is locked and before the tally is announced by seeking recognition from the presiding officer and announcing their votes.

  • MACHINE IS OPEN
    The announcement the presiding officer makes to indicate that members may begin recording their votes on the automatic roll call voting machine by pushing the "yes" or "no" button on their desks.

  • MANDATE
    Anything the legislature requires, but usually used to mean a state-initiated constitutional, statutory, or executive action that requires a local government to establish, expand, or modify its activities in such a way as to necessitate additional local spending. All bills that include a local mandate must be referred to the Appropriations Committee unless the referral is waived by a two-thirds vote of each house. Whenever a bill contains a mandate, the fact is recorded as a municipal impact in the fiscal note.

  • MARKINGS
    A process used in Senate whereby, at the beginning of each session, the majority leader reads out loud the actions proposed to be taken on each bill on the calendar that day. Comparable to the House "Go List.'

  • MASON'S MANUAL
    A manual of parliamentary procedure that, together with the rules of the General Assembly, governs the manner in which the legislature transacts its business. Whenever Mason's Manual conflicts with the rules adopted by the General Assembly, the rules take precedence.

  • MATTER NOT APPROVED BY LCO
    A calendar designation indicating that a committee has reported a bill favorably despite a finding by the legislative commissioners that it is unconstitutional or already law.

  • MATTER RETURNED BY COMMITTEE
    A calendar designation for a bill that was referred to a committee from the floor and reported back to the chamber.

  • MESSENGERS
    Staff members serving under the direction of the clerks who are responsible for carrying messages to members and distributing documents.

  • MOTION
    A formal request for a particular action.

  • MUNICIPAL IMPACT
    The part of a fiscal note that describes the financial effect of a proposal on municipalities.

N


  • NECESSARY FOR PASSAGE
    The number of "yes" votes needed to pass a particular measure. The number depends on the number of members present and voting, and may differ depending on the nature of the measure. Always announced by the House clerk as part of the vote tally.

  • NEW
    A designation that appears in parentheses before a section of a proposal that, if passed, would be a completely new section of the statutes rather than a change in an existing one. Used instead of printing the new section in all capital letters.

  • NEW FILE
    Substitute bill reported by a committee after being referred from the floor. Such a bill is reprinted and given a new file number.

  • NO ACTION
    A method of defeating a bill in committee that, unlike a motion to box, does not require a roll call vote.

  • NOMINATIONS
    Executive or judicial appointments that must be approved by the General Assembly.

  • NONPARTISAN STAFF
    Legislative employees not assigned to work solely for a caucus who provide nonpolitical services to the members of the General Assembly. Nonpartisan staff work in the Legislative Management, Legislative Commissioners', Legislative Research, Fiscal Analysis, Program Review, and Law Revision offices; for the Capitol Police; and as permanent committee administrators.

O


  • O.E.
    Short for other expenses. The line item in agency budgets that includes expenditures for items other than personnel.

  • OLR REPORT
    (1) A research report written by the staff of the Office of Legislative Research.
    (2) Another name for an OLR bill analysis.

  • ON CONSENT
    Refers to a bill being on consent calendar, as in "The bill is on consent."

  • ORDER OF BUSINESS
    The sequence in which business is normally transacted each day in each chamber. The order for each chamber is specified in the House and Senate rules.

  • ORDER OF THE DAY
    The designation of a special time and date for considering a particular bill. Bills that are the order of the day are taken up at the specified time and date regardless of their place on the calendar.

P


  • PAIRING
    A type of "absence voting" by which two members who, had they been present for a vote, would have voted on opposite sides. When they agree to pair themselves they indicate their respective positions on the issue and the fact that their absences did not effect the outcome. The Senate rules provide for pairing.

  • PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY
    A question from a member to the presiding officer concerning proper procedure or the parliamentary status of a matter under consideration at that moment.

  • PARTISAN STAFF
    Staff hired by the House and Senate caucuses.

  • PASS RETAIN (PR)
    Short for "passed, retaining its place on the calendar." The action of passing over a bill but allowing it to keep its position on the calendar relative to other bills. Bills not pass retained fall into the bottom of the calendar. In practice PR'd bills are held until the next session day.

  • PASS TEMPORARILY (PT)
    To suspend consideration of a particular bill for a short time, for example to await an amendment or the answer to a question. PT'ed bills are usually taken up later on the same day.

  • PERMANENT ASSISTANT CLERKS
    The full-time employees who administer the House and Senate clerks offices.

  • PERSONAL PRIVILEGE,  POINT OF
    A member's request for recognition to make announcements, personal statements, or introductions.

  • PETITION
    A method by which a member can, by collecting the requisite number of legislators' signatures, require a committee either to have a proposed bill fully drafted and hold a public hearing on it or to report a bill to the floor. Bills petitioned to the floor are often shown on the calendar as unfavorable reports.

  • PHOTO-OFFSET
    A copy of a proposed, raised, or committee bill distributed by a committee.

  • POINT OF ORDER
    The parliamentary device used to require a committee, the House, or the Senate to observe its own rules and follow established parliamentary practice. Points of order are raised by individual members and decided by the presiding officer. The presiding officer's decision may be overruled by a majority vote of the full body.

  • POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    The term used in circumstances where the discharge of a legislator's duty would affect his or her financial interest (or that of the spouse or other family members) unless that interest is virtually inconsequential or is not distinct from the interest of a substantial segment of the general public. If an action would create a potential conflict, the member can be excused from voting or he can prepare a written statement for the journal or minutes explaining why he is able to act fairly, and file a copy with the Ethics Commission.

  • PRECEDENT
    A prior ruling or established custom on which a presiding officer may rely in dealing with points of order and parliamentary inquiries. General Assembly precedents are compiled by the Office of Legislative Research and published at the beginning of each two-year term by the Legislative Management Committee.

  • PRESIDENT
    The presiding officer of the Senate, usually the lieutenant governor.

  • PREVAILING SIDE
    The majority of the votes on a particular measure. Only someone who voted on the prevailing side may move for reconsideration.

  • PRINTED FOR THE FILES
    Each bill favorably reported by a committee must be printed and assigned a file number before it can appear on the calendar.

  • PROGRAM REVIEW AND INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE
    A permanent bipartisan committee that conducts in depth investigations of issues, programs, or state agencies. The chairmen are members of different parties. The committee has a nonpartisan staff.

  • PROPOSED BILL
    A bill introduced by an individual legislator at the beginning of a session, not fully drafted. In even-year sessions, the subjects of proposed bills are restricted to fiscal matters.

  • PROPOSED DRAFT
    A fully drafted bill, resolution, or amendment not yet formally introduced.

  • PROPOSED SUBSTITUTE
    A fully drafted version of a revised bill not yet acted on by a committee.

  • PUBLIC ACT
    A bill passed by both chambers of the legislature that amends the general Statutes.

  • PUBLIC HEARING
    A meeting which members of the public and representatives of state agencies have the opportunity to testify to a legislative committee on bills, resolutions, or issues before the committee. Requirements for public hearings are set forth in the Joint Rules.

Q


  • QUORUM
    A quorum in a legislative body is normally a majority of the entire membership of the body. If there are vacancies, that fact is not considered. Thus, a quorum of a legislative body that has 100 seats would be 51 (more than half of 100), even if some seats are vacant. However, it is also common in a legislative body to have a rule that the lack of a quorum does not affect the proceedings unless a point of order is raised.

R


  • RACIAL AND ETHNIC IMPACT STATEMENT
    A racial and ethnic impact statement is a statement prepared by the Office of Legislative Research and the Office of Fiscal Analysis to indicate whether or not the bill or amendment would have a disparate impact on the racial and ethnic composition of the correctional facility population and an explanation of that impact.

  • RAINY DAY FUND
    Common name for the Budget Reserve Fund.

  • RAISED BILL
    A fully drafted bill introduced by a committee that is not based on a proposed bill.

  • RANKING MEMBER
    The designated leaders of the minority party on a joint committee. Each committee has a House and Senate ranking member designated by the minority leader of each house.

  • RAT
    Slang term for a bill or amendment that a member or group thinks is bad. When a member must support such a measure for political reasons, he is said to "swallow a rat."

  • READ IN
    The process of giving a bill a first reading by presenting a list of bills with their committee referrals to the chamber of origin. No debate is required for this procedure.

  • READINGS
    A technical term for three stages of a bill's passage. The first reading is the initial committee referral, the second occurs when the bill is reported to the floor and tabled for the calendar and printing, and the third when the bill is debated and voted on. At none of these stages is the bill's text actually read aloud.

  • READOPT
    To pass an amendment a second time after it has been rejected by the other house.

  • RECALL
    To request the return of a bill from the other house or the governor to correct a technical error.

  • RECESS
    A temporary suspension of a House or Senate session or a committee meeting with the intention of resuming before adjournment.

  • RECOMMIT
    The House or Senate's decision to return a bill to a committee that previously reported it out. A bill that is recommitted is dead.

  • RECONSIDER
    Motion for a second vote on a question. Must be made by a member who voted with the majority the first time. A committee may reconsider an item only at its next regular meeting. House rules impose a similar requirement for House reconsideration. The Senate rules allow reconsideration on the same day as the original vote or on the next day. An item can be reconsidered only once in a session. Except for the last three days of the session, unless the rules are suspended, a bill must be held by the clerks until the end of the following session day for possible reconsideration.

  • RECONVENE
    To reassemble, usually after a recess.

  • REFER
    To send any item of legislative business to a committee.

  • REFER FROM THE FLOOR (FLOOR REFERRAL)
    Refer a bill or resolution to a committee from the full House or Senate.

  • REGS REVIEW
    Short for the Legislative Regulation Review Committee. The bipartisan committee that reviews and approves all state agency regulations.

  • REGULAR SESSION
    One of the two annual sessions of the General Assembly held in each biennium.

  • REGULATION
    A rule adopted by a state agency to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describe its procedure or practice requirements. Agency regulations have the force of law, must be adopted according to procedures described in the law, and must be approved by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee.

  • REJECT
    To defeat, usually used to refer to action on an amendment.

  • REMOVE FROM THE FOOT
    A motion made in the Senate to take an item previously held at the end of the calendar and return it to its place for action that day.

  • REPEAL
    To revoke an existing law.

  • REPEALER
    The section of a bill, usually at the end, that revokes one or more sections of existing law by listing only their statutory citations.

  • REPORTING DEADLINES
    See JF DEADLINE.

  • REPRINT
    To print a new file copy of a bill after it has been amended for the other house or revised by a committee after being referred from the floor. Reprints receive new file numbers. Normally, the Senate reprints bills amended by the House but the House does not reprint bills amended by the Senate.

  • RESERVE FOR PUBLIC HEARING
    A committee decision to schedule a public hearing on a proposed bill.

  • RESOLUTION
    A statement by the General Assembly that is not a law. Used to approve nominations or labor contacts, place constitutional amendments on the ballot, or express the legislature's collective opinion.

  • REVENUE ESTIMATE
    A projection of state revenues for the coming fiscal year prepared by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee that must be included in the state budget.

  • ROLL CALL MACHINE
    The electronic voting machines used to record members' votes in the House and Senate.

  • ROLL CALL VOTE
    The record of the individual votes of each member of the House or Senate or a committee on a particular question. All House and Senate roll call votes are printed in their respective journals. Any vote that constitutes final action on a bill must be taken by roll call.

  • RULES
    The General Assembly's written governing legislative activity. The rules are adopted at the beginning of each session. Joint activities are governed by the joint rules adopted by both houses. Each house also adopts its own separate rules.

S


  • SCREENING
    The informal process by which a small group of designated legislators and staff reviews bills (1) before they are reported out of a committee and (2) before they are considered on the floor. Each House and Senate caucus has a separate screening process. The results of the majority party's screening are the House Go List and the Senate markings.

  • SECOND
    To endorse a motion made by another member. Required for further consideration of the motion.

  • SENATE BILL
    A bill introduced by an individual senator or first filed with the Senate clerk. Senate bills are numbered 1 through 4,999.

  • SENATE CLERK
    An officer elected by the Senate with administrative and procedural responsibilities for keeping track of Senate business.

  • SESSION DAY
    A day when either house of the General Assembly meets or holds a regular or technical session.

  • SESSIONAL EMPLOYEES
    Temporary staff hired to work only for the session.

  • SHORT SESSION
    The three-month session held during even-numbered years.

  • SIGN-UP SHEET
    The place where those wishing to testify at a public hearing write their names to determine the order of their appearance before the committee. There is usually a separate sign-up sheet for legislators and agency heads who wish to testify.

  • SIGN ON
    Term used when a legislator adds his name as a co-sponsor of a bill or amendment; as in "Did Representative Smith sign on to this?"

  • SINE DIE
    Latin for "without day," meaning a final adjournment. A motion used to close an annual session of the General Assembly. It terminates all unfinished business.

  • SINGLE-STARRED<
    Calendar designation showing that a bill awaiting action has been on the calendar for two of the required three session days.

  • SPEAKER
    The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, elected by the members.

  • SPECIAL ACT
    A law that has a limited application or is of limited duration, not incorporated into the Connecticut General Statutes.

  • SPECIAL SESSION
    A meeting of the General Assembly called for a particular purpose. A special session may be called by the governor or by a majority of legislators.

  • SPECIAL SESSION CALL
    The announcement of the special session giving its date, time, and purpose.

  • SPLIT COMMITTEE
    A joint committee that has been divided so that House and Senate members can act separately. The rules allow a committee to split only at the request of the majority of the committee members present representing either house.

  • SPONSOR
    The originator of a legislative proposal, either a legislator or a committee.

  • STANDING VOTE (ALSO KNOWN AS RISING VOTE)
    A Senate vote taken whenever the presiding officer doubts the result of a voice vote. A standing vote does not require that the votes of individual senators be permanently recorded.

  • STARRED FOR ACTION
    Another term for double-starred, meaning an item has been on the calendar for the required three session days and is ready for action.

  • STATUTE
    Another name for a law. "The statutes" are the General Statutes of Connecticut.

  • STRAIGHT CHANGE OF REFERENCE
    The action by a committee to send an item to another committee without a recommendation.

  • STRIP
    To remove all a bill's provisions and substitute an entirely new proposal.

  • SUBCOMMITTEE
    A portion of a whole committee. Usually refers to sub-groups of the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committees.

  • SUBJECT MATTER HEARING
    (1) A public hearing held by a committee on a group of proposed bills all relating to the same subject.
    (2) A committee hearing on a particular subject to seek ideas for legislation.

  • SUBSTANTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST
    The term used in connection with legislators and matters of private interest or gain to them. A legislator has a substantial conflict of interest if he has reason to believe he, his spouse or dependent child, or a business with which he is associated, will experience a direct monetary gain or loss as a result of his official action. If an action would create a substantial conflict, the official is prohibited from taking it.

  • SUBSTANTIVE
    Term applied to an adopted amendment that alters the substance of a bill. Under the rules, once a substantive amendment has been adopted, further action on a bill must be suspended until the amended bill has been reexamined by the legislative commissioners and reprinted as a new file. After each amendment is adopted in the House, the speaker rules whether it is substantive or technical.

  • SUBSTITUTE BILL
    An amended bill reported by a committee. Indicated by a small "s" in front of its bill number.

  • SUMMARIZE
    Commonly used procedure that allows an amendment's introducer to explain its effect instead of having the clerk read the announcement aloud. Requires permission of the full body, which the introducer usually seeks as part of his motion to adopt the amendment.

  • SUSPEND THE RULES
    To waive the rules to accomplish a particular purpose. The motion requires a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.

T


  • TABLED FOR THE CALENDAR
    The formal order for a bill reported out of committee to be printed in the files and appear on the House or Senate calendar. This step also serves as the bill's second reading.

  • TALLY SHEET
    A written record of a roll call vote.

  • TASK FORCE
    A special group authorized to study a particular issue and report back to the General Assembly. Its members often include legislators.

  • TECHNICAL
    Nonsubstantive, especially when applied to an amendment.

  • TECHNICAL REVISER'S BILL
    An annual bill to correct grammatical or typographical errors in the statutes.

  • TECHNICAL SESSION
    A brief formal convening of the House or Senate held purely to advance bills on the calendar and make pro forma referrals. There is no debate or voting on bills. It usually lasts a few minutes and involves only two members and the clerk.

  • TRAILER SESSION
    Another name for the veto session.

  • TRANSCRIPT
    A written word-for-word record of the proceedings of a committee's public hearing, or the House or Senate debates. No transcripts are made of committee meetings.

  • TRANSPORTATION FUND
    Short for the Special Transportation Fund. A separate budget account funded by fuel and transportation-related taxes and motor vehicle fees. It pays for the departments of Motor Vehicles and Transportation and its revenues provide backing for state bonds used for state and local highway improvement projects.

U


  • UNFAVORABLE REPORT
    A recommendation from a committee that a bill be defeated.

  • UNDERLINING
    Used to show new language a bill or amendment proposes to insert into existing law. The proposed insertion is underlined.

  • UPON PASSAGE
    Used as the effective date for certain bills.. Means the act takes effect the day the governor signs it.

V


  • VALIDATING ACT
    A special act that retroactively legalizes a previous action or failure to act by the state, a local government body, a corporation, or anyone else.

  • VEHICLE
    A bill or resolution that is susceptible to being amended to accomplish another purpose, often either more controversial or larger in scope than the original bill. A vehicle to which many amendments are attached is sometimes called an omnibus.

  • VETO
    The governor's rejection of a bill. A veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the membership of each house.

  • VETO SESSION
    A special session of the General Assembly held usually about six weeks after the regular session to consider whether to override gubernatorial vetoes.

  • VOTE TO DRAFT
    A vote to draft is a vote taken to have a proposed bill drafted in full as a committee bill.

  • VOICE VOTE
    A vote taken by a call for Yeas and Nays that does not require recording members' individual votes. Usually used to pass amendments and adopt motions. It cannot be used for taking a final action on a bill.

W


  • WELL OF THE HOUSE
    The open area of the House chamber between the speaker's dais and the first row of legislators' desks. Used for guests and staff, who must remain there while roll call votes are in progress and the roll call machine is open.

  • WITHDRAW
    A motion to remove an amendment or a motion from consideration. Must be made by the proposer. A member who seconds a motion may also withdraw his second. Motions to withdraw may only be made before the vote.

  • WORKING DRAFT
    A preliminary draft of a bill, resolution, or an amendment. Often circulated to interested parties before being filed and still subject to revision. Stamped as such by the Legislative Commissioners' Office.

Y


  • YIELD
    Short for yield the floor. One legislator's giving the floor to another member during debate.

 
 
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