House Rules

Rules Relating to the Presiding Officer

General Rules of Order and Procedure
Rules Relating to Members of the House
Rules Relating to the Presiding Officer
Rules Relating to Committees
Rules Relating to the Clerk and the Journal
Joint Rules of the Two Houses

Rule 57. The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum. In doing so:

(1) The Speaker may speak to points of order in preference to other members.

(2) The Speaker shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the House at the request of any member, which appeal shall be decided without debate.

Provided, however, if the Speaker desires to make an editorial comment concerning the merits of an issue under consideration, the Speaker shall leave the Chair for that purpose.

Rule 58. Whenever necessary to provide safety and security for the members and staff, or upon the written request of eleven (11) members, the Speaker shall direct the Clerk to clear the fifth floor halls and offices of the State House of all unauthorized persons. Provided, however, a member may authorize the use of his or her office by any individual(s) of his or her choosing.

Rule 59. The Speaker, when the Speaker Pro Tem either declines or is absent, may name any member to perform the duties of the Chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment.

Rule 60. The Speaker Pro Tem shall serve as Speaker in the Speaker's absence.

Rule 61. When two or more members seek recognition at the same time, the Speaker shall name the person who is to speak first.

Rule 62. All questions subject to voice vote shall be distinctly put in the following form: "Those in favor (as the question may be) say 'aye'," and after the affirmative voice is expressed, "Those opposed say 'no'." If the Speaker doubts, or if requested by a member and sustained by ten other members before a decision is announced, the members shall vote by recorded vote.

Rule 63. The Speaker shall appoint all committees and their subcommittees and may designate who shall be chairs and vice-chairs. The Speaker shall proportion, as reasonably as possible, committee appointments in a manner which is inclusive and reflects the racial diversity, gender, and political party affiliation of the members of the body. Political party affiliation and racial diversity should be considered in instances where at least ten members of the body are affiliated with a political party or are members of the same race.

Rule 64. After the House of Representatives has adjourned sine die at the end of any regular session, the Speaker may rename the membership of each standing committee and subcommittee thereof. Such constituted standing committees and subcommittees shall take effect at the next regular or special session or at the time of the assignment thereto.