THE RULES OF THE SENATE OF ALABAMA
Rules Relating to the Presiding Officer
RULE 42. In the absence of the President when the Senate convenes, the President Pro Tempore shall preside except as provided for in Rule 1; however, any other rule to the contrary notwithstanding, when the President of the Senate chooses not to preside, the President Pro Tempore shall preside. Should the President Pro Tempore not be in the chamber or choose not to preside, the Majority Leader shall preside and/or designate in writing a member to preside or until such time as the President or the President Pro Tempore, as the case may be, assumes or reassumes the presidential duties of the Chair; provided, however, that such delegation may not continue to the next legislative day.
RULE 43. All questions shall be put by the presiding officer, and members shall signify assent or dissent by answering yea or nay. If those who vote are sufficient in number to show that a majority constituting a quorum so acted, those who thus voted only shall be counted as constituting the house for the purpose of that vote; but when any question is put and a quorum is not recorded as voting, the presiding officer shall, before announcing the vote, on his/her own motion, instruct the Secretary to record as present a sufficient number of those Senators physically present to constitute a quorum, though all present are not participating in the vote. For purposes of ascertaining a quorum, an abstaining vote shall be counted as present.
RULE 44. A Senator may rise for a Point of Order, regarding the proceedings of the Senate, at any stage of business. A Point of Order is a parliamentary privilege, not subject to debate or approbation of the Senate, and when a Senator rises for a Point of Order, the Chair must immediately recognize that Senator, so that the Senator may state his/her Point of Order. The Chair shall rule on all points of order, taking into consideration the Constitution of the State of Alabama, Statutes of Alabama, the Alabama Legislative Joint Rules, the Senate Rules and historic precedents of the Senate. Such ruling shall be made, within a reasonable time not to exceed ten (10) minutes. Every question of order shall be decided by the Chair without debate, subject to an appeal to the Senate, which appeal must be made the same legislative day. An appeal from the ruling of the Chair is likewise a parliamentary privilege of each Senator, and if a Senator who stated a Point of Order upon which a Ruling of the Chair was made so desires, that Senator, or any other, shall have the privilege of appealing from the Ruling of the Chair, and the declaration of such appeal by a Senator must be recognized by the Chair. Every appeal from the Ruling of the Chair shall be decided by a roll call vote. A majority of the elected Senate membership shall decide an appeal. Whenever a Senator appeals from the Ruling of the Chair, the question before the Senate shall be: “Shall the ruling of the Chair be sustained?” The Chair may call for the sense of the Senate on any question of order or on any other matter properly before the Senate.
RULE 45. When more than one member rises seeking recognition, the Presiding Officer shall decide which member to recognize. The President Pro Tempore shall be recognized first when rising for a Point of Order, as well as for the purpose of taking up House messages, executive messages, and other matters of serious import for the operation of the Senate. The Majority Leader, in the absence of the President Pro Tempore, shall have priority when seeking recognition.
RULE 46. The Chair shall give notice at each reading of a bill whether it be the first, second, or third.
(a) The Senate President Pro Tempore may designate the Majority Leader to perform the duties of the Senate President Pro Tempore in his/her absence, with the exception of signing of bills and resolutions, which only the President and President Pro Tempore are constitutionally allowed to do. The President Pro Tempore shall be an additional voting member of all Senate Standing Committees, superseding the number of members of each standing committee as set out in Rule 48, including Local Legislation No. 1, but excluding all other local legislation committees unless he/she is a member of another local legislation committee by geographical circumstance. The President Pro Tempore may designate in writing to the Secretary of the Senate the name of a member who is not already a member of the committee to represent him or her as a voting member under this rule. Such substitution shall be for a term of not less than one year unless such member so appointed dies or resigns from the Senate, or resigns from the committee so appointed under this rule.
(b) There shall be a Senate Committee on Assignments which shall be composed of the President Pro Tempore, the Lieutenant Governor, the Senate Majority Leader and three additional members appointed by the President Pro Tempore. The Committee on Assignments shall appoint the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and membership of all Senate Standing Committees and Select Committees. The Committee may reappoint the membership of the committees, and may rename the leadership of the committees. Any such change in committee membership, or the chairman or vice-chairman thereof, shall only be authorized by a majority vote of the membership of the Committee on Assignments. Actions of this committee shall be reported to the Senate by the President Pro Tempore or in his/her absence by the Senate Majority Leader as such appointments are approved.
(c) The Senate Majority Leader shall be elected by the active members of the majority party represented in the Senate. The Majority Leader shall have a separate budget allocation.
(d) The Senate Majority Leader shall assist the Senate President Pro Tempore with the relationship between the Senate and House leadership, and any other matters which the President Pro Tempore may deem necessary.
(e) A Senate conference committee on a Senate bill or a House bill shall consist of two members appointed by the Committee on Assignments, and one member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
(f) A Senate conference committee on a local bill shall consist of two members of the Senate appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore, and one member of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, each from the political subdivision affected, if possible.
(g) A Senate conference committee on all resolutions shall consist of two Senate members appointed by the Committee on Assignments, and one Senate member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
(h) There shall be the position of the Senate Minority Leader, also known as the Minority Leader, elected by the members of the Minority Party. Notification of the name of the Minority Leader shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Senate. The Minority Leader shall have a separate budget allocation.