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RULES AND ORDERS OF THE ASSEMBLY.
I. The assembly shall choose, viva voce, one of their own members to occupy the chair. He shall be styled Speaker of the assembly. He shall hold his office during one session of the assembly. He shall take the chair at the hour to which the house is adjourned, and call the members to order, and if a quorum be present he shall direct the minutes of the preceding day to be read, and mistakes, if any, corrected. He shall preserve order and decorum, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the house. In committee of the whole he shall call some member to the chair, and may debate any question before the committee; in the house he may also call a member to the chair, but such a substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment. He shall, unless otherwise directed by the house, appoint all committees. He shall vote on a call of the yeas and nays. In the absence of the speaker, the house shall appoint a speaker pro tem.
II. Any ten members may make a call of the house and require absent members to be sent for; but a call of the house cannot be made after the voting has commenced; and the call of the house being ordered, and the absentees noted, the doors shall be closed, and no member permitted to leave the room until the report of the sergeant-at-arms be received and acted upon, or further proceedings in the call be dispensed with by a vote of the majority of the members elect.
III. All questions shall be put in this form : “ Those who are of opinion (as the case may be) say aye. Those of a contrary opinion,
say no;" and in doubtful cases any member may call for a division.
IV. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be stated by the speaker, or read by the clerk, previous to debate. If any member require it, all motions (except to adjourn, postpone or commit) shall be reduced to writing. Any motion may be withdrawn by consent of the house before decision or amendment.
V. Every member present, when a question is put or when his name is called, shall vote, unless the house shall, for special cause, excuse him ; but it shall not be in order for a member to be excused after the house has commenced voting.
VI. A motion to adjourn shall always be considered in order, i and together with a call for the previous question, and a motion to lie on the table shall be decided without debate. But a motion to adjourn shall not be received when the house is voting on an- * other question.
VII. When any member is about to speak in debate, or de : liver any matter to the house, he shall arise from his seat, and respectfully address himself to “Mr. Speaker," and shall confine himself to the question under debate and avoid personality.
VIII. When two or more members shall rise at once, the speaker shall name the member who is first to speak.
IX. Whilst the speaker is putting any question, or addressing the house, no member shall walk out nor across the house, or when a member is speaking, shall walk between him and the chair.
X. No member shall speak except in his place, nor more than twice on any question, except on leave of the house.
XI. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received unless to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, to amend, or to
postpone indefinitely; and these several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they stand arranged. A motion to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to postpone indefinitely, being decided, shall not be again allowed on the same day, and at the same stage of the bill or proposition. A motion to strike out the enacting words of a bill shall have precedence of a motion to amend, and if carried, shall be equivalent to the rejection of the bill.
XII. The previous question shall be in this form : “Shall the main question be now put?" It shall only be admitted when demanded by a majority of the members present, and its effects shall be to put an end to all debate, and bring the house to a direct vote upon pending amendments, and then upon the main question. On a motion for the previous question, and prior to the seconding of the same, a call of the house shall be in order; but after a majority shall have seconded such motion, no call shall be in order prior to a decision of the main question.
XIII. Any member may call for a division of the question, h when the same will admit thereof. .
XIV. No committee shall absent themselves by reason of their appointment, during the sitting of the house, without special leave, except committees of conference.
XV. Every bill shall be introduced by motion for leave, or by order of the house on a report of the committee. In cases of a general nature, one day's notice at least shall be given of the motion to bring in a bill,
XVI. Every bill shall receive three several readings previous to its passage ; but no bill shall receive its second and third readings on the same day.
XVII. The first reading of a bill shall be for information, and if objections be made to it, the question shall be, “ Shall the bill be rejected.” If no objection be made, or the question to reject be lost, the bill shall go to its second reading without further question.
XVIII. All bills, resolutions, memorials, &c., requiring the approval of the governor, shall, on the second reading, be considered by the house in committee of the whole, before they shall be taken up and considered by the house. The final question upon the second reading of every bill or other paper originating in the assembly and requiring three readings previous to being passed, shall be, “Shall it be engrossed and read the third time ?" and upon every such bill or paper originating in the senate, “shall it be read a third time?” And the question upon every bill or resolution of the senate, that requires three readings, shall be, previous to being passed, “Whether it shall be ordered to a third reading ?” No bill or resolution that requires three readings, shall be committed or amended until it shall have been twice read, (12) and all joint resolutions which will require the signature of the governor, shall take the same course as to their reading (14) as in the case of bills, unless otherwise ordered by the house.
XIX. Amendments made in committee of the whole, shall not be read by the speaker on his resuming the chair, unless requested by one or more of the members.
XX. . On the third reading of a bill or resolution, no amendment (except to fill blanks) shall be received, except by the unanimous consent of members present.
XXI. A bill or resolution may be re-committed at any time previous to its passage ; if any amendment be reported upon such commitment, the question shall be upon concurring in the amend ment, and the question for its engrossment and a third reading may then be put.
XXII. In filling blanks, the largest sum and longest time shall be first put, and when the house is equally divided, in such case the question shall be lost.
XXIII. On Fridays and Saturdays of each week, bills and resolutions which do not elicit debate, shall be considered in their order on the calendar of business in preference to all other business, and this rule shall govern the order of business, when the house is in committee of the whole.
XXIV. When a motion or question has been once made and . carried in the affirmative or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority, or where the house is equally divided, for any member who voted in the negative to move for a reconsideration thereof, on the same or succeeding day. A motion to reconsider being put and lost, shall not be renewed. A motion to reconsider shall always be in order.
XXV. All acts, addresses and resolutions, shall be signed by the speaker, and all writs, warrants and subpoenas issued by order of the house, shall be under his hand and seal, attested by the clerk.
XXVI. Petitions, memorials, and other papers, addressed to the assembly, shall be presented by any member in his place; a brief statement of the contents thereof shall be made verbally, and endorsed thereon, together with his name, by the member introducing the same, and shall not be debated or'decided on the day of their being first read, unless where the house shall direct otherwise; but shall lie on the table, (to be taken up in the order they were read,) or referred on motion to a committee.
XXVII. It shall be in order for the committee on enrolled bills to report at any time, except when questions are being taken.
XXVIII. After examination and report, each bill shall be certified by the clerk, and by him transmitted to the senate; the day of transmission shall be entered on the journal.
XXIX. No member or officer of the assembly shall be permitted to read newspapers within the bar of the house, while the house is in session, or smoke in the assembly room at any time.