Outlined in this section are the rules under which the chamber sessions will operate. It is most important for delegates to become thoroughly familiar with them so that they will know how to function in either Assembly or Senate. Chamber sessions will be held Friday through Sunday. Parliamentary Procedure, or an altered version, is observed throughout all proceedings.
The rules have been adopted to provide for a timely and orderly operation of the total program. The rules are not debatable and are not subject to “a suspension of the rules” unless indicated. Time will be at a premium; therefore, it is crucial that the time limits indicated are followed. If running behind schedule, it is at the President/Speaker’s discretion to set new time limits.
The following outline some other general rules of Parliamentary Procedure:
- No one but the assigned delegates are permitted to be on and speak on the floor of either chamber. All others must observe from the gallery.
- Delegates not appropriately dressed will not be permitted to speak.
- Senate Presidents and Assembly Speakers (hereinafter referred to as “Chair”) shall preside over their respective chambers.
- Bills are randomly and equally assigned to the Assembly and Senate. There is no guarantee that a bill will be heard first in the chamber of the main sponsor. It is for this reason that each bill should have a sponsor in both the Senate and Assembly and both should be well prepared to speak on the bill.
- When a member wishes to speak, he/she shall raise a hand and wait to be recognized by the Chair. The members should not call out, whistle, snap fingers, etc. to get attention.
- When recognized, the delegate shall rise and address the chair, state his/her name, and delegation and recognize the Chair as “Sir/Madam Chair”.
- Members may be ruled out of order and lose the right to speak if Parliamentary Procedure is not followed.
- No member shall interrupt another while speaking except by raising a Point of Order
- When a member obtains the floor, he/she may yield their time to a fellow delegate provided they spoke for at least half of their allotted time; the subsequent delegate may only speak OR make one motion.
- No member may use the speaking time of another unless the time has been yielded.
- A recognized speaker must confine his/her remarks to the subject under debate. There are to be no personal references.
- The Chair shall entertain no frivolous motions. The presenter shall be ruled out of order. This ruling may be appealed to the chamber advisor who will make a decision.
- Members are expected to vote on all matters. Abstentions should be used sparingly – they reflect a disinterest in the bill and disrespect for the work of the sponsors.