Messages from one house to the other shall take precedence over all other questions.
When House and Senate bills are signed by the presiding officer of the House or Senate, the Clerk of the House or Secretary of the Senate, as the case may be, shall notify the other house and request the signature of the presiding officer to the same, and as soon as the message is read, the presiding officer shall immediately sign the bills in the presence of the House or Senate, as prescribed by the Constitution.
No local or special bill shall be introduced into either house unless the member who introduces it discloses at the time the fact that the notice required by the Constitution and laws has been given, and submits one copy of the notice and proof thereof attached to the bill.
No bill amending a section or part of the code by reference to the section or other subdivision of the code shall be introduced into either house unless the title thereof contains a brief statement of the general subject, independent of references to the code section, to which such section or subsection relates.
The Secretary or the Clerk, as the case may be, shall, when a bill is duly enrolled and signed by the presiding officers of both houses, deliver the bill to the Governor noting thereon the day and hour and minute of delivery, and shall make a written report to the house where the bill originated showing the number of the bill and time of delivery, which shall be spread upon the Journal.
All official printed legislative documents placed in the custody of the Clerk and the Secretary shall be assigned a number by the Secretary or the Clerk and the number, year and the session shall clearly appear on the title page of the document.
No bill or resolution may be introduced unless it has been entered into the Legislative Data Bank by the Legislative Reference Service, the Legislative Fiscal Office, or the Executive Budget Office. The draft of any bill which is for introduction at any session of the Legislature, and which is not prepared by the Legislative Reference Service, the Legislative Fiscal Office, or the Executive Budget Office, shall be presented to the Legislative Reference Service for review, preparation of a synopsis, and entry into the Legislative Data Bank.
The privileges of the floor of both houses are accorded the Directors and employees of the Legislative Reference Service and the Legislative Fiscal Office. In aid of the reference work required by law to be done for members of the Legislature, the privileges of the floor of both houses are accorded the Director of the Alabama Law Institute and the Chief Examiner of the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.
The presiding officer of the Senate shall preside when the two houses meet in joint sessions.
During the period between the end of a regular session and the convening of the next regular session, except for the period between the end of the last regular session in the quadrennium and the last day of the organizational session, members may deliver bills to the Clerk or Secretary. This shall be known as "pre-filing." Such bills shall be numbered by the Clerk or Secretary in the order of receipt and otherwise processed for introduction when the regular session has been convened. Pre-filed bills shall be assigned as provided in the Rules of each respective house to a standing committee or subcommittee for study. A pre-filed bill shall not be voted on by a committee until each house has convened in regular or special session and the bill is in position for a committee to vote.
Resolutions of sympathy, commendation, or congratulations shall be by House resolution or by Senate resolution and shall be filed with the Secretary or the Clerk who shall cause the respective journals to reflect that such resolution was filed by inserting the title thereof in their respective journals; the Secretary or the Clerk, respectively, shall prepare appropriate copies for distribution; provided, however, by suspension of the rules such resolutions shall be made a part of the journals.
(a) No bill amending an existing statute shall be accepted for introduction in the Legislature unless the language to be deleted is stricken through (example: stricken through); and the language to be inserted is underscored (example: underscored).
(b) All amendments to bills shall refer to the line or lines to be amended by number and shall specify the language to be deleted and added.
No bill shall be accepted by the Secretary or Clerk for introduction in either house unless it is a legible copy, typed on 8 1/2" by 11" paper with numbered lines which are double spaced.
All bills or resolutions that have been amended in the house of origin shall be engrossed by that house prior to being delivered to the other house.
No resolution, as provided for in Section C of Amendment 448 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, shall be introduced until the bill described in the resolution appears on the regular calendar of the house in which the resolution is offered. Such resolution shall not be introduced unless it has been prepared by the Legislative Reference Service or the office of the Clerk or the Secretary.
All House bills and Senate bills, except local bills, shall have printed at the top of the bill a brief synopsis of the contents.
Every bill making an appropriation, except the General Fund Appropriation Bill and the Education Trust Fund Appropriation Bill, shall clearly stipulate in the bill's title the amount and the source from which the appropriation is to be made.
Any bill that proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 shall include in the text of the bill specific language that shall appear on the ballot if the bill is passed by the Legislature.
When both the House and Senate, respectively, lack a sufficient number of members on the same day to constitute a quorum at the time of convening, and the Governor has declared a state of emergency pursuant to Section 31-9-8 of the Code of Alabama 1975, then that day will not be considered a legislative day.
Joint Rules Relating to Committees
Each standing committee, except committees on local legislation, is designated as an interim committee when the Legislature is not in regular or special session.
An interim committee, or a subcommittee of the interim committee, may meet to consider pre-filed bills assigned to it or other subject matters assigned by the presiding officer of the House or pursuant to the rules of the Senate, or both. An interim committee or subcommittee shall not travel outside Montgomery unless the travel is approved in advance by the presiding officer of the House or the Lieutenant Governor for out-of-state travel or the presiding officer for in-state travel for the Senate.
Interim committees must post notice of meetings at least 3 calendar days ahead of a meeting.
A Committee on Conference to reconcile the difference on pending legislation between the two houses of the Alabama Legislature shall consist of six members, three members of the House and three members of the Senate. Appointments to Committees on Conference shall be made as provided in the rules of each respective house.
1. Notice of meetings of Committees on Conference shall be posted at least one hour prior to the meeting in the same manner as the posting of notice of standing committee meetings.
Provided, however, that on the 12th legislative day of any special session or on the 30th day of any regular session the notice requirements of this rule shall be satisfied if the meeting time and place of a Conference Committee is announced publicly by the presiding officer of the House and the presiding officer of the Senate or the designee of the presiding officer.
2. A Committee on Conference on an appropriation bill shall only address differences in monetary amounts or language differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed versions of the pending legislation. The Committee on Conference shall not introduce a new appropriation item, earmark funds for any item that did not appear in either the House-passed or Senate-passed version, or propose new language that did not appear in either the House-passed or Senate-passed version. The conference committee shall not increase the appropriation to any entity above the higher amount passed by either the House or Senate. The provisions contained in this paragraph may be suspended, by written motion to suspend this rule, as to particular items of appropriation or language by a majority recorded vote of the House membership and by a majority recorded vote of the Senate membership.
3. A Committee on Conference shall not report unless there be an affirmative vote of at least four members which shall consist of at least two votes by the conferees from each house. The report of the Committee on Conference shall be attached to the pending legislation and returned to the house of origin for such action as that house may deem appropriate. The house of origin may take one of the following courses of action:
(a) It may concur in the Committee on Conference report and, in the event of this action, the bill and the Conference Committee report shall be sent to the other house for action.
(b) It may reject the Conference Committee report, in which case the pending legislation is automatically void.
(c) It may reject the report of the Committee on Conference and request that a new committee be appointed by the presiding officer of the House and, for Senate members, pursuant to Senate rules. In the event the house of origin adopts the Committee on Conference report, the pending legislation together with the report of the Committee on Conference, shall be submitted to the other house for action in the same manner as in the house of origin.
In the event the minority wishes to submit a report, the house of origin shall first consider the majority report.
In the event of a majority report rejection, the minority report may be considered and, if concurred in by the house of origin, the same shall be presented to the other house for action by that house.
The Committee of Conferees shall report substantially as follows:
We, the Committee of Conferees appointed to reconcile the difference between the two houses concerning House Bill/Senate Bill ___, have met, considered the matter, and agreed to the following:
(Example: Substitute for HB/SB_____ is attached).
(Example: Amend HB/SB_____ as follows:)
CONFEREES OF THE HOUSE
CONFEREES OF THE SENATE
The Legislative Fiscal Office shall prepare and provide to all members of the Legislature a report of all changes (word and number) in a Conference Committee report on any appropriation bill from the bill as passed in the respective house of the Legislature.
All amendments or revisions to redistricting plans, following introduction as a bill, shall be drafted by the Reapportionment Office.
Drafts of all redistricting plans which are for introduction at any session of the Legislature, and which are not prepared by the Reapportionment Office, shall be presented to the Reapportionment Office for review of proper form and for entry into the Legislative Data Bank at least ten (10) days prior to introduction.
(a) The title of a general bill the purpose or effect of which is to impose a requirement for a new or increased expenditure of funds held or disbursed by the governing body of a municipality or county, or an instrumentality thereof, shall include a statement to that effect.
(b) If the requirement contained in a general bill subject to subdivision (a) is one which is excluded from the requirements of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, the bill shall contain a section so stating and the basis for the exclusion.
(c) After introduction of a general bill the title of which contains the statement required by subsection (a), and does not contain a section stating the bill is excluded from the requirements of Amendment 621 and the basis for the exclusion, the Legislative Fiscal Office shall determine whether the bill has an aggregate fiscal impact of less than $50,000. If the Legislative Fiscal Office determines that the aggregate fiscal impact is less than $50,000 annually, it shall notify the sponsor so that the bill may be amended to comply with subsection (b).
(d) A general bill subject to subdivision (a) that does not contain a section stating it is excluded from the requirements of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, shall not be transmitted to the other house unless it is passed by a two-thirds vote of the members of the house voting on the bill.
Joint Rules Relating to Lobbying
Prohibitions. No lobbyist shall be permitted upon the floor of either house while it is in session, except as otherwise provided. No lobbyist shall circulate a cloture petition.
Obligations of Lobbyist. A lobbyist shall supply facts, information, and opinions of principals to legislators from the point of view from which he or she openly declares. A lobbyist shall not offer or propose anything to improperly influence the official act, decision, or vote of a legislator, including the gathering, dissemination and/or distribution of false, misleading, and/or malicious information by their employees, employers, or agents.
A lobbyist, by personal example and admonition to colleagues, shall uphold the honor of the legislative process by the integrity of his or her relationship with legislators.
A lobbyist shall not knowingly and willfully falsify a material fact or make any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation or make or use any writing or document knowing the same contains any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or entry.
Rules Committee Advisory Opinions. A lobbyist, when in doubt about the applicability and interpretation of the rules relating to lobbying in a particular context, may submit in writing a statement of the facts involved to the Joint Committee on Rules, which consists of the House Rules Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, and may appear in person before the committee.
Penalties for Violations. Separately from any prosecutions or penalties otherwise provided by law, any person determined to have violated the rules relating to lobbying shall be censured, reprimanded, placed on probation, or prohibited from lobbying for the duration of the session and from appearing before any committee of the Legislature. The determination shall be made by a majority of the respective house upon recommendation of the Joint Committee on Rules. The Joint Committee on Rules, before making the recommendation, shall conduct a hearing, after notifying the person alleged to have violated this rule and granting such person an opportunity to appear at the hearing.
Secretary or Clerk to Provide Forms. Upon the request of any member of the Legislature, the Secretary or Clerk shall obtain and provide to the requesting member a copy of any lobbyist registration form filed with the State Ethics Commission.
Committees to be Diligent. Committees shall be diligent to ascertain whether those who appear before them in other than an obviously individual capacity have conformed with the requirements of law relating to lobbying, and to report violations. No committee member knowingly shall permit a person required by law to be registered as a lobbyist who is not registered as a lobbyist.