Senate Administration

​​​​​​​​2021 Senate Rules​

Emergency Parliamentary Rules​





[Senate Resolution No. 8601, Adopted January 11, 2021]

Rule A​ Public Health Measures.
Rule B Filing of Bills.
Rule C Electronic Signatures.
Rule D Interpretation of Permanent Senate Rules.

Rule E Physical Distancing Required.​
Rule F Remote Voting.
​​ Rule G Attendance and Quorum.​
Rule H Floor Motions.
Rule I Call of the Senate. ​​
Rule J Referral of Bills to Committee.
Rule K Consideration of Bills and Amendments.

​Rule L ​Committee Procedures.



Public Health Measures

​A. (1) Senate members and employees must wear a mask in all Senate buildings. This requirement does not apply if the member or employee is in an office or room by themselves. While physically present on the Senate floor, members and employees must wear masks provided by the Senate.

(2) Members and employees will be provided with a self-screening health tool to assist them in determining whether it is safe for them to be on campus. If a member or employee answers any of the self-screening questions in the affirmative, the member or employee should remain off campus and contact the human resource officer.

(3) For the duration of the 2021 legislative session, Senate buildings will be open to authorized members and staff only. Members of the capitol press corps will be permitted access to observe floor action with preapproval from the Secretary of the Senate. No member or employee may escort a member of the public into Senate buildings.

(4) All committee and floor proceedings will be broadcast to the public via streaming or televised platforms to ensure public access. (See Article II, Section 11 of the state Constitution.)

Filing of Bills

B. (1) Any member desiring to introduce a bill shall email the bill to the office of the code reviser by noon of the day before the convening of the session at which the bill is to be introduced. Only bills that have been emailed by a member or the member's legislative assistant may be considered for introduction.

(2) Sponsor sheets will be electronically available for introducing the bill. The member emailing the bill and corresponding sponsor sheet shall be considered the sponsor of the bill. The sponsoring member may designate one cosponsor of the bill by providing the cosponsor's name in the email and by including the cosponsor's name in the cc line of the email.

(3) Additional members may add themselves as cosponsors to the bill by emailing the Senate workroom by 5:00 p.m. of the day of its introduction.

(4) Agency and governor request legislation shall follow this process and the sponsoring member or member's legislative assistant must email such legislation to the office of the code reviser.

(5) The introduction of title-only bills is prohibited. For the purposes of this subsection, a title-only bill is a bill containing a title or short summary of the intended subject matter, without laying forth the full changes intended to any act or sections of law.

Electronic Signatures

C. Electronic or scanned signatures are authorized in place of any physical signatures that are otherwise required in order for a member to conduct legislative business.

Interpretation of Permanent Senate Rules

D. To the extent that a matter is not addressed in this Resolution, the Permanent Rules of the Senate adopted January 11, 2021, will govern. The President will interpret all rules and procedures to facilitate legislative business in a fair and efficient manner in light of the ongoing emergency and remote session.



Physical Distancing Required

E. Senators voting on the Senate floor must maintain at least six feet of distance from one another.

Remote Voting

F. (1) Unless otherwise designated by the Facilities & Operations Committee, members will be required to vote remotely. Senate administration will make information technology provisions for members who wish to participate in floor action remotely from their offices or another isolated location on campus. Members who wish to vote remotely from their homes will be outfitted with necessary hardware and provided remote information technology support.

(2) During any roll call vote, members will record their vote using the remote voting system. The clerk will close electronic voting and announce each member's vote individually. The President will call on those members who are present but have not yet voted. The President will then provide members a final opportunity to be recognized and change their votes. The clerk will then announce the vote.

(3) If, during a roll call vote, a member's vote is unable to be taken, the member will be automatically excused. The member may request in writing that their vote be reflected in the Senate journal, though it will not count towards the final roll call.

(4) In accordance with Senate Rule 22, once begun, a roll call vote will not be interrupted because a member has connectivity issues. However, if a majority of members elected is no longer present due to connectivity issues, a majority of those still present may defer consideration of a bill, adjourn, or recess the Senate until a quorum can be reestablished.

Attendance and Quorum

G. A member of the Senate voting remotely is considered in attendance within the bar of the Senate if the member is participating in the session through a remote access program established by the Secretary of the Senate as provided in Senate Rule 70.

Floor Motions

H. Members are permitted to move a bill, resolution, or amendment; rise to a parliamentary inquiry; request a roll call vote; and rise to a point of order. The floor leaders of the majority and minority caucuses will make all other motions. A floor leader may yield to a member for a question of privilege.

Call of the Senate

I. A call of the Senate may be moved by the majority or minority floor leader and sustained by three Senators. If carried by a majority of those present, the Secretary shall call the roll, after which the names of the absentees shall again be called. The business of the Senate will be suspended until the absent senators are considered within the bar of the Senate for such action as the Senate may deem proper. A call of the Senate may not interrupt a roll call vote, and no penalties shall be sustained for members experiencing connectivity issues.

Referral of Bills to Committee

J. (1) Draft bill referrals will be electronically published by 8:00 p.m. the evening before any session to consider them. All objections or requests for rereferral must be communicated in writing by a member to the majority floor leader by 8:00 a.m. the day of convening.

(2) The Senate may relieve the Rules Committee of a bill with the consent of a majority of the Senate, provided that two hours' notice has been given to the President and all members of the Senate by the majority leader. The majority leader will consult with the President prior to giving such notice.

Consideration of Bills and Amendments

K. (1) The majority floor leader will provide draft orders of consideration for the Second Reading Calendar to the minority floor leader by 5:00 p.m. two days before scheduled floor action. Bills may be added to orders of consideration with the consent of the majority and minority floor leaders.

(2) Once a bill is listed on a draft order of consideration submitted to the minority floor leader, any amendments must be submitted electronically to the Secretary of the Senate for consideration by 8:00 p.m. the day before scheduled floor action to be in order.

(3) On and after the third day preceding adjournment Sine Die of any session, or two days prior to any cut-off date for consideration of bills, as determined pursuant to Article II, Section 12 of the state Constitution or concurrent resolution, or during any special session of the legislature, this rule may be suspended by a majority vote.



Committee Procedures​

L.​ (1) All committees will meet remotely. A member shall be considered in attendance at a committee hearing if the member is participating through a remote access program established by the Secretary of the Senate as provided in Senate Rule 70.

(2) All committees will re​ly upon and use the Electronic Bill Book. Committee staff should add all materials relating to hearings, work sessions, or executive sessions to the Electronic Bill Book as early as possible or when the material has been made public. Paper copies will not be provided to members.

(3) All committees will use the Committee Sign-In system used in the past by the public, which has been modified to allow universal remote testimony sign-in for all committee hearings. All committee members will be able to view the list of individuals who have signed in to testify on each bill. All testimony will be taken remotely or in writing. Members of the public wishing to testify may sign up remotely up to one hour before the committee is scheduled to meet.

(4) Chairs must publish the list of bills that may be considered for executive session by 4:00 p.m. two days preceding executive session. A chair with the consent of the ranking member has discretion to waive this deadline in extraordinary circumstances.

(5) Members must have amendment requests to nonpartisan committee staff by noon the day before scheduled executive action. Members should be considerate of staff and turn in amendment requests earlier if they are long or complex, keeping in mind the final deadline for consideration of amendments.

(6) All amendments, including substitutes, must be sponsored by a committee member. All amendments and effect statements must be either drafted or reviewed, or both, by nonpartisan committee staff. To be eligible for consideration at an executive session, amendments must be released from confidentiality and posted to the Electronic Bill Book for committee members by 4:00 p.m. the day before the executive session or the amendments will be considered out of order. A chair with the consent of the ranking member has discretion to waive this deadline in extraordinary circumstances.

(7) Committee voting will be done through recorded roll call votes with the results transmitted to the Secretary of the Senate via electronic means. Members must be present and visible to be eligible to vote during the executive session. Voting will not be allowed "subject to signatures."

(8) Electronic reports of standing committees must be received one hour prior to convening of the session in order to be read at said session. This requirement may be suspended by a majority of the Senate.