The Senate Rules Act of 2018

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The Senate Rules Act of 2018

Post by Flemwad » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:03 am

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The Senate Rules Act of 2018

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Author: Audrey Silver, Douglas Chamberlain, Megan Granville, Carl Duncan
Sponsor(s): Megan Granville

Introduced on: 04/13/2018

SB 021-18

An act to establish Senate rules.
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STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE


1. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
  • 1.1 - “Bill” refers to legislation proposed by a Member.
  • 1.2 - “Committee” refers to a specific group of Members appointed by the Senate to undertake certain business on behalf of the Senate.
  • 1.3 - “Constitution” refers to the Constitution of the State of San Andreas.
  • 1.4 - “Governor” refers to the Governor of San Andreas.
  • 1.5 - “Meeting” refers to a gathering of a quorum of the Members of the Senate or a committee thereof in one place for the purpose of discussing legislative or other official matters within the jurisdiction of the Senate or a committee thereof.
  • 1.6 - “Presiding Officer” refers to an individual presiding over a meeting of Members, including the Senate as a whole or an individual committee thereof, who shall act as a moderator of debate and administrator of parliamentary procedure.
  • 1.7 - “Penal Code” refers to the Penal Code of San Andreas.
  • 1.8 - “Resolution” refers to an expression of the Senate's nonbinding positions or its internal affairs such as the creation of a committee.
  • 1.9 - “Senate as a whole” refers to the Senate meeting with a quorum of Members present as a collective legislative body, as opposed to a committee thereof.
  • 1.10 - "Simple Majority" refers to anything gaining over 50%.
2. OFFICES OF THE SENATE
  • 2.1 - Senators
    • 2.1.1 - The Senate shall be composed of eleven (11) senators, who are elected at-large for a term in accordance with the Constitution.
    • 2.1.2 - Senators shall hold the formal title of “The Honorable”, or the prefix “Hon.”.
    • 2.1.3 - Senators may be referred to as “Members” or “Senator” by one another during legislative business.
    • 2.1.4 - Only Senators may cast a vote during legislative business.
  • 2.2 - President Pro Tempore
    • 2.2.1 - The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall be the Speaker.
    • 2.2.2 - Election of the Speaker
      • 2.2.3 - The Speaker shall be elected by a majority of Members at the beginning of each legislative term following an election.
      • 2.2.4 - Members who wish to be candidates for the office of Speaker, shall submit their names to the Clerk no later than one (1) week following an election.
      • 2.2.5 - Once the Clerk is satisfied that all candidates seeking the office of the Speaker have declared their candidacy, they shall submit a Special Resolution before the Senate as a whole with the names of all candidate Members.
      • 2.2.6 - Members may vote for one (1) candidate for Speaker. The candidate Member with a plurality of votes shall be declared the winner.
      • 2.2.7 - Upon the death, resignation, or impeachment of Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor shall tentatively preside as Speaker until an election is held. An election for speaker shall be held no later than one (1) week after the death, resignation, or impeachment of Speaker.
    • 2.2.8 - Duties of the Speaker
      • 2.2.9 - The Speaker shall hold responsibility for moderating debates, making rulings on procedure, announcing the results of votes and other legislative business, acting as the chair of the Senate, and fulfilling all other executive functions necessary to the Senate’s business.
      • 2.2.10 - The Speaker shall act in a nonpartisan and neutral manner in the execution of their duties and responsibilities.
      • 2.2.11 - Unless otherwise provided, the Speaker shall be the presiding officer of all debates and discussions before the Senate as a whole.
      • 2.2.12 - The Speaker may designate another Member, or the Clerk, to act as presiding officer over debates and discussions before the Senate as a whole when necessary.
      • 2.2.13 - The Speaker shall not take part in any debate or discussion before the Senate while acting as presiding officer.
    • 2.3 - Clerk of the Senate
      • 2.3.1 - The Clerk of the Senate shall be the senior administrative officer of the Senate. The responsibilities of the Clerk shall include tallying votes during legislative business, maintaining records of the proceedings of the Senate, administering the oath of office to Members when necessary and performing other administrative functions necessary to the Senate’s business.
      • 2.3.2 - The Clerk shall also act as the official advisor to the Senate on the interpretation and application of these Standing Rules, as well as general parliamentary procedure. The advice of the Clerk may be sought by any Member during any stage of proceedings.
      • 2.3.3 - The Clerk may be assisted by Assistant Clerks and Legislative Counsel as necessary.
    • 2.4 Sergeant-at-Arms
      • 2.4.1 - The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be an officer of the Senate responsible for maintaining order and decorum in the Senate chamber and on its grounds, as well as ensuring the safety and security of all Members, staff, and visitors on Senate grounds.
      • 2.4.2 -The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be chosen a majority of Members and must be a sworn peace officer under the laws of San Andreas.
      • 2.4.3 -The Sergeant-at-Arms may be aided by assistants as necessary.
3.0 OATHS
  • 3.1 - All Members of the Senate shall undertake the following oath or affirmation in the presence of a judge, The President Pro Tempore, Clerk of the Senate, or the Governor, or Lieutenant-Governor, of San Andreas before entering upon their official duties:

    “I [NAME] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of San Andreas against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitutions of the United States and the State of San Andreas; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter and during such time as I hold the office of Senator of the State of San Andreas.”
4.0 TERMS AND SESSIONS
  • 4.1 - A legislation calendar is established each year. After a legislative term expires, pending legislation must be reintroduced.
1.
5.0 LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE AND RULES
  • 5.1 - Quorum
    • 5.1.1 - The presence of at least one-third of Members of the Senate, or half of a committee’s membership thereof, shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the Senate or a committee thereof for the exercise of its powers.
  • 5.2 - Voting
    • 5.2.1 - Voting shall last at least THREE (3) days in accordance with the State Constitution.
    • 5.2.2 - In voting on legislative business, Members may:
      • 5.2.3 - Vote in favour of the motion, in which case they shall answer “Yea”.
      • 5.2.4 - Vote against the motion, in which case they shall answer “Nay”.
      • 5.2.5 - Abstain from voting on the motion, in which case they shall answer “Abstain”.
  • 5.3 - Designation of Bills and Resolutions
    • 5.3.1 - Upon submission, all bills shall be codified and titled as follows: S. B. [Short Title of YYYY] by the Author. It will then be codified by the State Clerk.
    • 5.3.2 - Upon submission, all resolutions shall be codified and titled as follows: S. R. [Resolution Number]-[YY] [Short Title] by the State Clerk.
  • 5.4 - Passing of Bills
    • 5.4.1 - Any Senator may introduce a bill before the Senate as a whole. ((Forums))
    • 5.4.2 - After the initial introduction, the Speaker shall, unless otherwise provided with good cause, refer the bill to an appropriate committee for consideration and further study.
    • 5.4.3 - Bills shall be referred to committees in accordance with the following guidelines:
      • 5.4.3.1 - All bills relating to or concerning public safety, law enforcement, emergency management, the penal system, the Penal Code, and related matters shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety.
      • 5.4.3.2 - All bills related to or concerning health, labor, pensions, and related matters shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Health Care, Education, Labor and Pensions.
      • 5.4.3.3 - All bills related to or concerning the standing rules of the senate, ethics of senators and related matters shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Rules and Ethics.
      • 5.4.3.4 - All bills relating to or concerning commerce, research and development, transportation, and related matters shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
      • 5.4.3.5 - All bills related to funding of state agencies, contracts of both the public and private sector and all related matters shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Appropriations.
    • 5.4.4 - Upon the committee’s referral of the bill back to the Senate as a whole, debate and discussion on the bill shall commence for up to one (1) week before the Senate as a whole. After at least FIVE (5) days of discussion a piece of legislation may be called for a vote at the discretion of the Speaker of the Senate, or President Pro Tempore in the absence of the speaker, or by the President of the Senate.
    • 5.4.5 - During the one week period, amendments may be made to the bill. Amendments proposed by any Member, and agreed to by the bill’s author or co-authors, shall be accepted automatically. This process shall be known as a “friendly amendment”.
    • 5.4.6 - An amendment proposed by any Member and not agreed to by the bill’s author or co-authors shall require a simple majority in order to be accepted. This process shall be known as an “unfriendly amendment”.
    • 5.4.7 - Debate on a bill may be extended by an additional one (1) week upon the raising of such a motion by any Member, and with the vote of two-thirds of all Members participating in the debate.
    • 5.4.8 - A motion of cloture may be made by any Member during a debate. The motion of cloture shall require a vote of two-thirds of all Members participating in the debate to take effect. Upon the vote of cloture taking effect, debate shall cease and the bill shall be voted on, in its current state, immediately.
    • 5.4.9 - A bill may be re-referred to a committee by a majority vote of all Members participating in the discussion of it.
    • 5.4.10 - After the discussion period has closed, the Senate as a whole shall hold a vote on the bill as it stands.
    • 5.4.11 - Upon the passage of a bill by the Senate as a whole, the bill shall be submitted to the Governor for signing into law.
  • 5.5 - Passing of Resolutions
    • 5.5.1 - A resolution may be presented by any Senator to the Senate as a whole.
    • 5.5.2 - A resolution shall only deal with the process of the Senate and shall only require a simple majority.
  • 5.6 - Point of Order
    • 5.6.1 - A point of order may be raised by any Member during any stage of proceedings when the Member has a sincere and reasonable belief that a rule or procedure has been violated or is not being adequately followed.
    • 5.6.2 - Members shall raise their points of order to the presiding officer, followed by a brief explanation of their reason for raising it.
    • 5.6.3 - Upon being notified of a point of order by any Member, the presiding officer shall make an immediate ruling with reasons on the point raised or, if necessary, refer it to the assembled body for deliberation and a vote on its validity.
    • 5.6.4 - If a point of order is declared valid, the motion or procedural action implicated by the point shall be considered void.
  • 5.7 - Open Meetings
    • 5.7.1 - Except as otherwise provided in this rule, all meetings of the Senate or a committee thereof shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend these meetings.
    • 5.7.2 - The Senate or a committee thereof may only hold a closed session solely for any of the following purposes:
      • a) To consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, to consider or hear complaints or charges brought against a Member of the Legislature or other public officer or employee
      • b) To confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending or reasonably anticipated litigation, or whether to initiate litigation, when discussion in open session would not protect the interests of the Senate or committee regarding the litigation.
      • c) A caucus of the Members of the Senate that is composed of Members of the same political party may meet in closed session.
    • 5.7.3 - The decision to hold a closed session of the Senate or a committee thereof shall be made by a majority of Members of the Senate or the committee thereof
2.
6.0 DECORUM, CENSURE, EXPULSION AND IMPEACHMENT
  • 6.1 - Decorum
    • 6.1.1 - Members shall refrain from using unparliamentary language or otherwise engaging in unbecoming conduct during debates and proceedings.
  • 6.2 - Censure and Expulsion
    • 6.2.1 - A Member found to be in violation of the Standing Rules by the Speaker or the assembled body may be subject to a warning upon their first violation.
    • 6.2.2 - A Member found to be in violation of the Standing Rules by the Speaker or the assembled body, having been already warned may be subject to Impeachment.
7.0 ORGANIZATION OF COMMITTEES
  • 7.1 - Standing Committees
    • 7.1.1 - The following committees shall be standing committees, which are to operate permanently: Public Safety, Judicial Affairs, Health and Social Services, Appropriations and Finance, Economic Affairs and Labor Relations, Transportation and Infrastructure, Government Oversight, Rules and Administration.
    • 7.1.2 - The primary purpose of a standing committee shall be to provide a forum in which committee members and the public may closely scrutinize legislation proposed by Members before consideration by the Senate as a whole.
    • 7.1.3 - Leadership and Membership of Standing Committees
      • 7.1.3.1 - The Speaker shall determine the size of and appoint the membership as well as the chairperson of all standing committees near the start of each new legislative term.
      • 7.1.3.2 - The Chairperson of a standing committee shall act as that body’s presiding officer and de facto head.
      • 7.1.3.3 - In appointing Members to serve on and lead committees, the Speaker shall consider the preferences and seniority of interested Members and take reasonable efforts to ensure the composition of committees includes an equal number of Members from all caucuses.
    • 7.1.4 - Committee Business
      • 7.1.4.1 - A standing committee shall meet regularly, as required by the committee’s chairperson or the Speaker.
      • 7.1.4.2 - Quorum for a standing committee to conduct its business shall be one-half of all committee Members.
      • 7.1.4.3 - (( Meetings of a standing committee in which votes to pass, amend or otherwise alter any type of legislation may hold meetings in-game however, if not all Committee members are present, the vote must be conducted on the forums and only after a transcript is available. Votes must be completed within 48 hours. ))
      • 7.1.4.4 - (( All in-game business, e.g. hearings, discussions or votes, must be transcribed and a transcript of the in-game session must be posted on the committee’s forum section within 24 hours of the session. ))
      • 7.1.4.5 - Members of a committee may make amendments to a bill. Amendments proposed must be accepted by a majority of committee members.
      • 7.1.4.6 - A committee’s business on a particular piece of legislation shall conclude when a majority of committee members vote to refer the legislation back to the Senate as a whole.
    • 7.1.5 - Hearings
      • 7.1.5.1 - A committee may hold a hearing in regards to topics they oversee at the discretion of the Chairperson.
      • 7.1.5.2 - Only individuals invited by the chairperson of a committee may appear before it.
      • 7.1.5.3 - A public notice of a committee hearing must be given at least twenty four forty-eight (2448) hours in advance of the committee’s hearing unless the purpose of the hearing is one that is set out in Rule 5.9.2.
  • 7.2 - Special Committees
    • 7.2.1 - A special committee shall be an ad hoc body formed to investigate a particular incident, issue, or other business deemed necessary by the Senate.
    • 7.2.2 - A special committee may be formed by a Special Resolution of the majority of Members of the Senate. The Resolution shall include the following: the name of the Special Committee to be formed, the Membership of the Special Committee, the purpose and mandate of the Special Committee, and a date at which the Special Committee’s mandate shall expire and the Committee dissolve.
    • 7.2.3 - A special committee may not have an indefinite mandate, however a special committee’s mandate may be extended as deemed necessary.
    • 7.2.3 - A special committee may hold private hearings without a majority vote from its membership at the discretion of the Speaker or its appointed head.

8.0 POWERS OF COMMITTEES
  • 8.1 - Investigation
    • 8.1.1 - A standing or special committee may initiate an investigation with the consent of the Chairman of that committee.
  • 8.2 - Subpoena
    • 8.2.1 - All chairs of standing committees have the authority to compel witnesses to produce testimony and documents for subjects under its jurisdiction. If a witness refuses to produce documents, or to testify, the committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to the full Senate.
  • 8.3 - Ethics
    • 8.3.1 - An ethics committee may regulate the behavior of Senators and discipline members for unacceptable conduct. A member of the Senate may be expelled for ethics violations with a majority vote in the Senate Ethics Committee and with a two-thirds majority in the full Senate.

9.0 FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
  • 9.1 - The financial records relating to the payment shall be considered public records that shall be made readily available to the public, upon request or otherwise, by all Members.
3.

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