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THE RULES OF THE SENATE OF ALABAMA


Rules Relating to Committees

RULE 48. There shall be twenty-one (21) standing committees. The Chairperson of each standing committee shall have the power to appoint subcommittees to aid in the work of the Committee. However, all subcommittee reports shall be subject to review and approval by the standing committee as a whole. A majority of the membership of each standing committee shall constitute a quorum to conduct business, and all standing committees shall meet formally to consider bills before it. In no instance shall any committee report for second reading a bill which was not considered in formal committee meeting. For purposes of this rule, a formal meeting shall be one in which all the members of the committee have been notified of the time and place of the committee meeting, and the committee meeting so held with a quorum present. The standing committees of the Senate shall be on the following subjects:

(1) The Committee on Rules, shall have supervision over the Revision of the Journal, Enrolled Bills, and Engrossed Bills. In addition, the Committee on Rules shall consider and report on matters required by the Rules of the Senate, as follows: motions or resolutions to set aside a regular order of business (Rule 9); motions or resolutions for a Special Order (Rules 9 and 13); special rules that debate on a pending measure shall cease at a certain hour and a vote be taken on the measure (Rule 20); propositions to suspend, modify, or amend any rule or any part thereof (Rule 35); all resolutions that may be referred to it (Rule 55). Also, the Committee on Rules shall render advisory opinions to any lobbyist who seeks advice about the rules relating to lobbying, and the committee shall make recommendations regarding the imposition of penalties prescribed for violations of the rules relating to lobbying. The Chairperson of the Committee on Rules shall have power to designate the Vice Chairperson of the Committee to act as Chairperson. Such designation shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Secretary of the Senate. The Committee on Rules shall not exceed 15 members.

(2) The Committee on Finance and Taxation Education, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning the Education Trust Fund in regard to revenues, appropriations, expenditures, state bond issues relating to projects which fall within the scope of education fund expenditures, and public debts of the State, and the administration of the State’s taxation and revenue law, including measures that would require new expenditures or increases in appropriations of state funds or that would affect any reductions in state revenue, as well as comprehensive accountability of all departments and entities which are funded by the Education Budget, including, but not limited to, competent expenditures of all monies appropriated from the Education Budget and performance accountability at all levels. The Committee on Finance and Taxation Education shall not exceed 13 members.

(3) The Committee on Finance and Taxation General Fund, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning the State General Fund in regard to revenues, appropriations, expenditures, state bond issues relating to projects which fall within the scope of general fund expenditures, and public debts of the State, and the administration of the State’s taxation and revenue law, including measures that would require new expenditures or increases in appropriations of state funds or that would affect any reductions in state revenue, as well as comprehensive accountability of all departments and entities which are funded by the General Fund Budget, including, but not limited to, competent expenditures of all monies appropriated from the General Fund Budget and performance accountability at all levels. The Committee on Finance and Taxation General Fund shall not exceed 13 members.

(4) The Committee on Confirmations, which shall deal with nominations, appointments by the Governor and all other appointments requiring confirmation (Rule 32), and is empowered to hold hearings and take testimony regarding those matters where deemed appropriate. The Committee on Confirmations shall not exceed 13 members.

(5) The Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability, to which committee bills will be assigned which address such matters as fiscal responsibility, reforming the budgetary process, state procurement practices, state bid laws, state contracts, when appropriate all bills and other matters related to bringing accountability to the use of taxpayer’s dollars. The Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability shall not exceed 9 members.

(6) The Committee on the Judiciary, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning crime and punishment, law enforcement, the judiciary and other matters affecting the criminal or civil laws of Alabama. The Committee on the Judiciary shall not exceed 11 members.

(7) The Committee on Governmental Affairs, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning the organization and operation of state government and the organization and government of any incorporated municipality in the State of Alabama and matters relating to the organization and government of counties in Alabama. The Committee on Governmental Affairs shall not exceed 11 members.

(8) The Committee on Education, to which committee shall be referred bills addressing all education reforms in primary, secondary, post secondary, higher education and the Department of Education. The Committee on Education shall not exceed 9 members.

(9) The Committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning proposed amendments or revisions to the Constitution of Alabama, as well as a new Alabama Constitution, reforming campaign finance laws, strengthening laws related to ethics of public officials, lobbyists, and state election laws. The Committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections shall not exceed 9 members.

(10) The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to which all bills and matters relating to Alabama’s agriculture and forestry, as well as wildlife, water resources, land, air, and ensuring the preservation of fish and game for future generations of Alabamians. The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry shall not exceed 11 members.

(11) The Committee on Banking and Insurance, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning: banks, banking, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions in this State, including the small loan business; and all bills and other matters concerning the business of insurance in Alabama, including bills and other matters relating to private pension and retirement systems. The Committee on Banking and Insurance shall not exceed 11 members.

(12) The Committee on Small Business, to which committee shall be referred all bills relating to the creation of small businesses, the maintenance of existing small business, the recruitment of other small business, and the economic development of communities, as well as matters pertaining to real estate. The Committee on Small Business shall not exceed 9 members.

(13) The Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development, to which committee shall be referred bills pertaining to job creation and economic development, the Alabama Development Office, the expansion of existing industry, and other matters relating to economic growth. The Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development shall not exceed 11 members. This Committee is formed from a merger of the former Committee on Economic Expansion and Trade, and the Committee on Industrial Development and Recruitment. For statutory purposes, it is the expressed intent of the Senate that the Chairman of this Committee shall be entitled to all statutory duties and responsibilities as the former “Chairman of Economic Expansion and Trade,” as well as “Chairman of Economic Affairs.”

(14) The Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Utilities, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters concerning commerce; motor vehicles; traffic regulation; highways; railways; airports; air transportation; mining and reclamation; waste and waste reduction; oil and gas; common carriers or other forms of transportation; utilities and utility systems. The Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Utilities shall not exceed 9 members.

(15) The Committee on Health, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning the health of the people of Alabama, and any other matters which affect the health care of the citizens of Alabama. The Committee on Health shall not exceed 11 members.

(16) The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters relating to oil, gas, and other energy matters. In addition, all bills relating to ports, harbors and docks and the preservation of Alabama’s natural resources for future generations. The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources shall not exceed 9 members.

(17) The Committee on Tourism and Marketing, to which committee shall be referred all bills relating to increasing tourism from both domestic and international markets and the maintenance of the tourism-related industries in Alabama and any general bill providing for or dealing with pari-mutuel betting, gambling or games of chance or affecting an existing facility thereof. The Committee on Tourism and Marketing shall not exceed 9 members.

(18) The Committee on Business and Labor, to which committee shall be referred bills and matters concerning the condition, development and interest of the work force, and matters related to the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Labor. The Committee on Business and Labor shall not exceed 9 members.

(19) The Committee on Children, Youth Affairs and Human Resources, to which committee shall be referred bills and other matters relating to the children and youth of Alabama; and all bills that relate to the operation of programs managed by the Department of Human Resources; the needs of senior citizens; and welfare reform. The Committee on Children, Youth Affairs and Human Resources shall not exceed 9 members.

(20) The Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, to which committee shall be referred bills and matters addressing military affairs, the National Guard, Reserve and veterans. The Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs shall not exceed 9 members.

(21) There shall be four (4) Local Legislative Committees described as follows:

(a) Local Legislation No. 1, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning local legislation in counties having a population of less than 300,000, with the exception of Madison County. Local legislation under this rule shall consist of any bill that applies to any political subdivision or subdivisions of the state less than the whole, exclusive of those counties excepted under this rule. The Committee on Local Legislation No. 1 shall consist of 11 members.

(b) Local Legislation No. 2, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning local legislation in counties having a population of 500,000 or more. Local legislation under this rule shall consist of any bill that applies to any political subdivision or subdivisions of the state less than the whole. The Committee on Local Legislation No. 2 shall consist of 8 members.

(c) Local Legislation No. 3, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning local legislation in counties having a population of between 300,000 and 500,000. Local legislation under this rule shall consist of any bill that applies to any political subdivision or subdivisions of the state less than the whole. The Committee on Local Legislation No. 3 shall consist of 8 members.

(d) Local Legislation No. 4, to which committee shall be referred all bills and other matters concerning local legislation in Madison County. The Committee on Local Legislation No. 4 shall consist of all those Senators whose districts include any part of Madison County.

(22) That pursuant to the provisions of Section 53 of Article IV of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, there is created a Senate Ethics and Conduct Committee whose responsibility shall be to consider and, when necessary, act upon complaints of misconduct brought against an individual Senator during his/her participation in a session of the Senate or his/her participation in a standing or interim committee. The committee shall be composed of five members of the Senate elected by the Senate at the earliest possible time after the convening of the first regular session of the quadrennium as designated by the President Pro Tempore and the members shall serve without compensation. Of the five members of this committee one member shall be elected from the minority party of the Senate. Members shall serve for a quadrennium. The procedure for the election of members to the committee shall be as herein provided. At the appointed time of election to be determined by the President of the Senate there shall be a call of districts. When his or her district is called, each Senator desiring to vote shall deliver to the Secretary of the Senate a list of five names of persons for whom the Senator votes. After each Senator who wishes to do so has submitted a list of five names, the Secretary shall receive the names for counting. The results of the election shall be tabulated by the Secretary under the supervision of a committee of three Senators appointed by the President of the Senate for that purpose. The Secretary shall certify to the Presiding Officer the names of the five Senators receiving the most votes. In the event of a tie vote, a second election shall be held in the same manner as the initial election was held. Senators shall vote for only the number of names that equals the number of positions on the committee to be filled. No ballot shall be counted if it contains a number of names greater than the number required to be elected. Any vacancy on the committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original members were elected. A chair and vice chair of the committee shall be elected from among the membership of the committee. If a complaint is brought against a member of the committee, that member shall not participate as a member of the committee in considering the complaint. The President of the Senate shall appoint a temporary replacement for that member to participate in the review of the complaint. The temporary member shall possess the same powers as other members of the committee. The committee shall receive complaints of misconduct against an individual Senator and recommend such action as it deems necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the committee.

For the purposes of this Rule, misconduct means any of the following:

(1) Any conduct constituting a legal wrong that materially impairs the ability of the member to perform the duties of his or her office or substantially impairs public confidence in the Legislature.

(2) Any conduct by a Senator which intentionally violates any Senate Rule in the conduct of Senate business, whether official or unofficial business.

(3) Any conduct by a Senator which, during his or her term of office, sexually harasses any other person of either sex including but not limited to Senate Pages. For purposes of this resolution, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when

a.) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment,

b.) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or

\c.) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the committee will look at the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts, on a case by case basis.

(4) Any conduct by a Senator which violates any provision of the State Ethics Law, Chapter 25 of Title 36 of the Code of Alabama 1975.

(5) Any conduct prohibited by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.

(6) The intentional filing of a false complaint with the committee or the filing of a complaint in reckless disregard of the truth.

The procedure to be followed by the committee is as follows:

(1) Only a member of the Senate may file a written complaint with the committee. The complaint shall include all of the following information:

(a) The name of the Senator alleged to have committed the violation.

(b) The name of the Senator filing the complaint.

(c) The nature of the alleged violation.

(d) Facts that support the complaint

(e) The date of the alleged violation. The complaint shall be in writing, signed by the Senator filing the complaint, and specify in detail the conduct in question. No complaint alleging a violation shall be filed more than one year after the date the alleged violation occurred. The Senator against whom the complaint has been brought shall be notified in writing by the committee and provided a copy of the complaint. Within 15 days after receipt of the complaint, the Senator may file a written answer to the complaint with the committee. Failure to file a written answer shall not be deemed to be an admission or create an inference or presumption that the complaint is true.

(2) At all times during any proceeding conducted pursuant to this resolution, the Senator accused of misconduct shall be given such notice and hearing as is requisite to due process of law guaranteed under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Alabama. Prior to taking any action, the committee shall notify the Senator accused of misconduct and shall grant the Senator an opportunity to respond at a hearing on the complaint. Since, by the very nature of a hearing on a complaint filed pursuant to this resolution, the character or good name of a woman or man will be involved in the hearing, the filing of the complaint shall be confidential and the committee shall meet in executive session for purposes of hearing and deciding complaints filed.

(3) After thorough investigation, by a majority vote, the committee may determine that no misconduct has occurred.

(4) The committee, in executive session, may address the accused Senator by issuing a warning.

(5) The committee by a four-fifths vote may recommend to the Senate as a whole that further action against the accused Senator be initiated. The committee may adopt rules of procedure, not inconsistent with this resolution, for the orderly conduct of its affairs, investigations, hearings, and meetings.

(23) If a law or executive order refers to the Chair of the Finance and Taxation Committee as a member or ex officio member of a committee, council, task force, or commission, both the Chair of the Finance and Taxation Education Committee and the Chair of the Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee shall serve.

RULE 49.

(a) No committee, with the exception of the Committee on Rules and the Committee on Assignments shall meet on the Senate floor while the Senate is in session. No committee shall meet off the Senate floor while the Senate is in session unless the time and place shall be previously announced by a presiding officer of the Senate.

(b) Each committee shall have investigatory powers and is authorized to hold hearings on any subject under its jurisdiction, to require attendance, upon appropriate notice, of State government officials and/or employees to give testimony at such hearings, and to formulate reports and recommendations regarding the activities or actions of such agency or department being investigated or reviewed by such committee.

RULE 50. Any bill providing for or dealing with pari-mutuel betting, gambling, games of chance, or affecting existing facilities thereof, shall first be assigned to the appropriate Local Legislation Committee if applicable. If the appropriate Local Legislation Committee gives the bill a favorable report, said bill shall then be referred to the Committee on Tourism and Marketing for further action and be treated in all further respects as a local bill. Any general bill providing for or dealing with pari-mutuel betting, gambling, games of chance or affecting existing facilities thereof, shall be assigned to the Committee on Tourism and Marketing.

RULE 51. Smoking shall not be permitted in any committee meetings held in a private office of the Senate.

RULE 52.

(a) The drafts of all bills which are for introduction at any session of the Legislature, and which are not prepared by the Legislative Reference Service, the Legislative Fiscal Office, or the Executive Budget Office must be presented to the Legislative Reference Service for review of form only and for entry into the Legislative Data Bank.

(b) All substitutes offered on the floor of the Senate must be in the Legislative Data Bank prior to offering.

(c) The title of any bill introduced in the Senate shall be no more than five typed pages.

RULE 53. When motions are made for reference of the same subject to a select committee and to a standing committee, the question on reference to the standing committee shall be put first. A select committee is a committee appointed by the Committee on Assignments, pursuant to Senate Rule 47(b), to study one specific question and ceases to exist when the purpose for which it was selected has been resolved.

RULE 54. A bill or resolution carrying an appropriation may be referred to a committee other than the appropriate finance and taxation committee if the subject matter requires such referral in the judgment of the President Pro Tempore. However, such bill or resolution shall also be referred to and reported by the appropriate committee on finance and taxation after being given a second reading.

RULE 55. All resolutions shall be referred to and reported from the Committee on Rules before consideration by the Senate. Resolutions of congratulation, commendation, or sympathy shall be by Senate Resolution and filed with the Secretary of the Senate.

RULE 56. When a bill has been acted upon by a standing committee, the committee’s Chairperson shall endorse on said bill: This bill was referred to the Standing Committee of the Senate on ______________________________ and was acted upon by such Committee in session and is by order of the Committee returned therefrom with ______________ report by a vote of yeas __________ nays _______________ this _____ day of ____________________ 20____.

______________________________________  Chairperson

RULE 57. The final vote of a committee on a bill shall be recorded and kept as a permanent record in the office of the Secretary of the Senate. No bill shall receive its second reading without the final vote of a committee attached thereto. This rule shall not apply to local bills. Whenever possible, it shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson of each committee to post at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance, unless such notice shall be suspended by a majority of those present and voting in committee, notice of the committee agenda, which shall include the bill number or a short synopsis of each bill, along with the time and place of each meeting. No bill shall receive its second reading if such bill was not considered by the standing committee reporting it in formal meeting. The twenty-four (24) hour meeting notice shall not apply in special sessions.

RULE 58. A committee may return a bill or resolution for its second reading without recommendation which shall constitute action by such committee.

RULE 59. No bill shall be reported out of committee by any means without having been considered and acted upon at a meeting of the committee to which such bill was assigned. If a meeting of a Senate standing committee convenes, pursuant to notice, and the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are both absent, then the committee may elect an acting chairperson. However, before any bills are reported by a committee acting in such fashion, the Chairperson must still sign all reports of bills for second reading.

RULE 60. The Committee on Rules may report at any time.

RULE 61. When the Chairperson of a committee has scheduled a public hearing to be held on any bill and the hearing has been announced, the hearing may be convened and held after the posting of a notice to this effect, to the Alabama Legislative Information System, forty-eight (48) hours in advance of such hearing. Such notice of a public hearing should be posted so as to encourage public participation.
Alabama State Senate  |  Alabama State House
11 South Union Street  |  Montgomery, AL 36130
General Information: (334) 242-7800