File under Documents of the 2007-2008 Session.
Following is an explanation by Gerry Cohen, bill drafting director of the General Assembly about the new rules proposed today.
The press release from Speaker Hackney's office follows that.
EXPLANATION OF HOUSE PERMANENT RULES
House Resolution 423
The House Permanent Rules filed today make a number of changes from the temporary rules, outlined below:
Rule 1 – By leave of the house (majority vote), session may continue beyond the evening adjournment deadlines.
Rule 14 – The motion to recess is moved higher in priority, to fall between the motion to adjourn and the motion to table.
Rule 16 – Conforming change to Rule 14, and also changed to allow a motion to reconsider and lay upon the table (clincher motion) to be made as one motion, reversing change made in 1999.
Rule 19 – Restores statement of previous question to pre 1999 rules. Makes conforming change to Rule 14.
Rule 24.1A Makes conforming change to excuse from voting to reflect provision of State Government Ethics Act.
Rule 26 Requires Speaker to consult with minority leader before appointing committees and to consider members preferences. Sets March 30 deadline for adding members to permanent committees and permanent subcommittees except in case of vacancies. Similar change for select committees. Eliminates "floaters". Eliminates reference to House Resolution 1 of 2005 Regular Session.
Rule 34 requires all primary sponsors and cosponsors listed on draft to sign bill jacket prior to filing of bill (adopts Senate practice).
Rule 36(b) Requires leave of House (majority vote) for Rules chair to calendar bill the same day it is reported.
Rule 36.1 Clarifies that when proper request for fiscal note is made, bill is removed from calendar until fiscal note is provided.
Rule 36.4 Adopts new rule preventing provisions from being added to main budget bill unless they either pertain to appropriations or raising or reducing revenue.
Rule 43. Makes unconstitutional amendments out of order. Establishes rules in committee and on the floor for amendments to main budget bill.
Press release from the Speaker's office:
HOUSE SPEAKER JOE HACKNEY ANNOUNCES HOUSE RULES
FOR THE 2007-08 SESSION
RALEIGH – N.C. House Speaker Joe Hackney, D-Orange, today announced the permanent House rules, which once approved by legislators in the coming days, will ensure a more open and democratic process in the House during the 2007-08 session. The new rules package, House Resolution 423, was drafted by the Speaker in consultation with House Rules Committee Chairman Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, Majority Leader Hugh Holliman, D-Davidson, Minority Leader Skip Stam, R-Wake, and members of the Democratic and Republican caucuses, as well as various advocacy groups.
“As Speaker, I want to ensure greater debate, openness and transparency in the way we do business in the House of Representatives,” said Speaker Hackney. “The rules that will govern the House during the next two years will allow us to accomplish our legislative goals regarding education, health care, our economy and other important issues while also strengthening the trust and confidence of the people of North Carolina, which must be our top priority each and every day.”
The 2007-08 House permanent rules address the following issues:
No special provisions will be added to the budget bill unless they pertain to appropriations or the raising or reducing of revenue. The House abided by this rule during last year’s session, but it will now be a permanent part of the House rules.
No same day consideration of legislation without a vote of the House, which will allow ample time for the study of legislation before a vote.
No “floaters” or members who serve on all committees. The position of a "floater" was first included in the House rules in 1995.
Required consultation with the Minority Leader regarding committee assignments. Speaker Hackney collected and considered the committee preferences of all House members and consulted with Minority Leader Stam during the opening weeks of session prior to announcing committee assignments.
March 30th deadline for adding new members to permanent committees and subcommittees, except in cases of vacancies.
No “blank bills.” All legislation introduced in the House must contain substantive provisions. The Senate rules allow each Senator to introduce three so-called blank bills per session.
“On opening day, I said that we must carefully think about the mechanics of our tasks — how our committees will work, how we will ensure and preserve candid and full debate, and how we will protect the rights of the minority,” said Speaker Hackney. “I’ve given a lot of thought and consideration to these issues, and I believe that these new rules clearly set out how the House should operate. These new reforms, partnered with the ethics, lobbying and campaign finance reforms passed during last year’s session, will be another step in the right direction, which we will continue improving upon all year long.”
The House Rules Committee will meet 15 minutes after the conclusion of session on Thursday to consider House Resolution 423.
Attached is a more in-depth explanation of the new House permanent rules, which was written by Gerry Cohen, bill drafting director for the General Assembly. The entire rules package may be viewed at http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2007&BillID=h423 or by searching for House Resolution 423 on the General Assembly's website at www.ncleg.net.
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