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. (a) The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum when the House is in session. In the case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the chamber by any person or a breach of the peace by any member, the Speaker may have the person or member engaging in such conduct removed from the chamber. For members, the removal may be for no more than one legislative day; provided, however, a member may be admitted sooner upon satisfaction of any terms and conditions prescribed by the Speaker.

Rule 57.1. (a) In preserving order and decorum, the Speaker:

(1) May speak to points of order in preference to other members.

(2) 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.

(b) 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. (a) The Speaker may direct House Security to remove any member who is engaging in a breach of the peace from areas of the State House that are under the control of the House.

(b) The Clerk may direct House Security to remove any individual or groups of individuals who are engaging in a disturbance or disorderly conduct from areas of the State House that are under the control of the House.

(c) Whenever necessary to provide safety and security for the members and staff, or upon the written request of eleven members, the Speaker shall direct the Clerk to clear all areas of the State House under the control of the House of everyone except members and legislative staff. 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. [Reserved.]

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. [Reserved.]