Sherman Croswell New York (State). Legislature.

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Senate; and, if the report be agreed to by the Senate,
it shall be deemed a rejection of the bill." — Senate rule

" When a bill shall be reported by the committee of the
whole, and not otherwise disposed of, the question shall
be : * Shall the report be agreed to ? ' And, when the
report of such committee, if favorable, shall be agreed
to, and the bill not otherwise disposed of, the bill shall
be ordered printed and engrossed for a third reading.
Upon such question the merits of the bill may be de-
bated, and a motion to commit or recommit, or to amend
as provided in the fourteenth rule, or lay on the table,
or to postpone to a future day, shall be in order. If
such question be decided in the negative, such bill shall
be deemed lost." — Senate rule 17.

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558 Clebk's Manual.

A Committee of the Whole cannot originate a bill
or resolution. It can only act on the bill or resolu-
tion referred to it for consideration.

Reports of the Committees of the Whole are of
three descriptions. They either report progress; or
they report the bill referred to them, with or without
amendment; or that they have struck out the enact-
ing clause or the title.

If they report progress, and ask leave to sit again,
the usual form of such a report, the question of
granting leave may be superseded by a motion to
discharge the Committee of the Whole, and to order
the bill to a third reading, or to discharge and com-
mit, or to lay on the table, or to postpone, or to grant
leave to sit again and make the bill a special order.
If no such motion be made, or, if made and lost, and
leave is granted to sit again, the bill takes its place
on the General Orders, and does not contain any
amendments made in Committee of the Whole, but
is in the same form as if it had not been considered.
If leave to sit again be refused, the bill having no
place in any order of business, or on the table, is
beyond reach, and virtually lost, unless revived under
a motion to reconsider.

If they report a bill with or without amendment,
the question of agreeing arises, as of course, and
without motion. But the question may be super-
seded by motions to lay on the table, to commit or
recommit, to postpone or to amend, ^y the Senate
rules, no amendment is in order that was not
^ pfferea or d^gja^ " to ppmmlttee of tbe wbQle,

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Clerk's Manual. 559

When sections or parts of sections have been
struck out in committee of the whole, and new mat-
ter inserted or nothing, motions to amend the report
of the committee, so as to restore the bill to its
original shape, have been deemed to be in order,
though such precise motions were not ** offered " in
committee of the whole.

If they report that they have struck out the en-
acting clause of a bill, the question of agreeing to
what they have done may be superseded by motions
to lay on the table, to commit, recommit or postpone.
Either of these, if carried, removes the bill from the
consideration of the House for the time being. If
not carried, or not made, and the report of the com-
mittee of the whole be agreed to, the bill is lost, by
the rules of both Houses. If not agreed to, the en-
acting clause is virtually restored, and the bill is
subject to such order as the House chooses to take.

Oeneral Orders of the Day.

General Orders are the bills or other matters com-
mitted to a committee of the whole.

These bills or other matters are arranged in the
order of their commitment, and have precedence
among themselves according to seniority in this re-

Bills and other matters thus committed to the com-
mittee of the whole, though made special orders
either after or at the time of such commitment, have
their place on the list with the rest, and are only
temporarily transferred to the calendar of special

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560 Clerk's Manual.

orders. These places they resume respectively if
undisposed of on the day assigned for their special
consideration, unless again made special orders,
after such consideration, by a fresh vote.

Under the Senate rules, the calendar called the
General Orders of the day, includes in one what in
the Assembly is embraced in two separate registers;
but this arrangement leads to no confusion there as
to what portion of the calendar constitutes the Gen-
eral Orders proper.

The rules of the Senate regulating the making up
of the General Orders are as follows:

*• The Clerk shall also furnish each Senator daily with a
printed list of the General Orders, which shall be kept on
file by the Superintendent of Documents, In the same man-
ner as other documents, and he shall also prepare a daily
calendar of all bills, engrossed or printed, for a final read-
ing, and place and keep the same, together with printed
copies of such bills, on the desk of each Senator; he shall
see that all bills shall be acted upon by the Senate in the
order in which they are reported and stand upon the cal-
endar, unless otherwise ordered by two-thirds of the Sen-
ate."— Subdivision 2 of Senate rule 4.

** The matters referred to the committee of the whole
Senate shall constitute the General Orders, and the business
of the General Orders shall be taken up as follows, viz.:
When the chairman named by the President ,has taken
the chair, the Clerk shall announce the title of each bill,
with the printed number or other matter, as it shall be
reached in its order, when It may be taken up on the
motion of any Senator without the putting of any question
therefor, and be considered Immediately, and so on until
the calendar Is exhausted or a motion is moved that the
committee rise. Any bill not so moved shall lose Its prefer-
ence for the day.*'— Senate rule 11.

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Clerk's Manual. 561

The practice in the Senate, when the calendars of
the day are announced, in the absence of any motion
to take up bills out their order on the list, is this:

The bill or other matter standing first on the list
is called by its title. If moved, it is first taken up
in committee of the whole. If not moved, the next is
called, and on so, until some bill or other matter is
reached on which some member desires action.

The bills or other matters not moved retain their
places. Those moved and acted on, if finally dis-
posed of in committee of the whole, are erased from
the list, or checked as so disposed of. Under the
Senate rules bills not disposed of resume and retain
their places on the General Orders.


The presence of a quorum being indispensable to
the transaction of business, the chair is not generally
taken in either House until the requisite number is in
attendance, unless it is apparent that a quorum is
not likely to appear within a reasonable time after
the stated hour of meeting.

If, after the presiding officer has taken the chair,
at the opening of a daily session, or if, at any time
during the progress of business, either House is
found to be deficient in number, business is either
not commenced or is suspended, until a quorum shall
appear, voluntarily or compulsory, under the usual
process of enforcing attendance.

The Constitution, article 3, section 10, provides
that a majority of each House shall constitute s
quorum to do business.

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6^ Clerk's Manual.

Article 3, section 25, virtually provides that three-
fifths of all the members elect to either House, shall
constitute a quorum to do certain things specified

Article 4, section 9, and article 3, section 20, virtu-
ally provide that, to do certain other things, two-
thirds of all the members elected to either House
shall constitute a quorum.

" Whenever upon a roll-call any Senator who is upon
the floor of the Senate chamber refuses to make response
when his name is called, it shall be the duty of the pre-
siding officer, either upon his own motion or upon the
suggestion of any Senator, to request the Senator so re-
maining silent to respond to his name, and if such Senator
fails to do so, the fact of such request and refusal shall
be entered in the Journal, and such Senator shall be
counted as present for the purpose of constituting a
quorum.*'— Senate rule 33.

Of Votes Taken in the Absence of a Quorum.

" If on taking the final question on a bill, it shall ap-
pear that a constitutional quorum is not present, or if the
bill requires a vote of two-thirds of all the senators elected
to pass it, and it appears that such number is not present,
the bill shall shall retain its place on the calendar and be
again taken up in its regular order." — Senate rule 24.

The Assembly rules are without any such special
provision; but the practice in all cases where the final
question is taken on a bill, and a constitutional
quorum is not present, is in conformity with the
Senate rule which, as far as it goes, is a re-enact-
ment of the parliamentary rule on the subject

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Clerk's Manual. 563

" When from counting the House, on a division, it ap-
pears that there is not a quorum, the matter continues
exactly in the state in which it was before the division,
and must be resumed at that point on any future day."
— Hatsell.

As neither House can do business in the absence of
a majority of its members, and as the Constitution re-
quires either the presence or the affirmative vote of a
larger number — three- fifths or two-thirds — to decide
a certain question, it follows that whenever on a divi-
sion, ihe constitutional quorum is not present, the vote
taken is a nullity, and must be retaken at some future
time, as if it had never been before put to a vote.

Where a question is taken by acclamation or by rising,
and a few only, or less than a quorum, vote upon it,
the Chair usually announces the apparent or ascertained
result, if satisfied that there is a quorum present. But,
if the point be raised that the House is deficient, mem-
bers must be counted. If a quorum be present, the de-
cision of the Chair, if any, previously made, stands with-
out a fresh vote, unless the Clerk's count be challenged,
or an appeal be taken from the decision of the Chair.
If a quorum be not present, the vote is a nullity, as it is
when the fact is ascertained by the call of ayes and

The mode in which the attendance i absent members
is procured or enforced is noticed elsewhere in this

A quorum is presumed to be present, if no member
raises the question. The method of securing a quorum
19 fully 8rt forth Wi4w th^ he^tding " Call of th^ Hous^/'

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564 Clerk's Manual.

Of the Journal.

" Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings
and publish the same, except such parts as may require
secrecy." — Constitution, art. 3, § 11.

Under this injunction of the Constitution minutes
are kept by the Clerks of both Houses of all that
transpires in either whilst the President or Speaker
occupies the chair, the Clerk of the Assembly in a
single and continuous record, the Clerk of the Senate
in two separate records, under the following rule:

" The proceedings of the Senate upon executive busi-
ness shall be kept in a journal separate from its pro-
ceedings on legislative business.'' — Senate rule 39.

By the Constitution and the rules of the two Houses,
certain things must have a place on the journal:

**The question upon its final passage [of every bill]
shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and
nays entered on the journal." — Constitution, art. 3, § 15.

" Every bill which shall have passed the Senate and
Assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented
to the Governor. If he approve he shall sign it; but, if
not, he shall return it with his objections to the House
in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the
o))jection3 at large on their journal, and shall proceed
to reconsider it," etc., etc., "but in all such cases the
votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and
nays, and the names of the members voting for and
against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each
House respectively." — Constitution, art. 4, § 9.

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Clerk's Manual. 565

"On the final passage of such bill [contracting debt
by or on behalf of the State] in either House of the
Legislature, the question shall be taken by ayes and
noes, to be duly entered on the journals thereof." —
Constitution, art. 7, § 12.

" On the final passage in either House of the Legisla-
ture of every act, which imposes, continues or revives a
tax," etc., etc., *' the question shall be taken by ayes and
noes, which shall be duly entered on the journal, and
three-fifths of all the members elected to either House
shall, in such cases, be necessary to constitute a quorum
therein." — Constitution, art. 3, § 25.

" On a division of the Senate, the names of those who
voted for or against a question, shall be entered alpha-
betically on the journal if any Senator require it." —
Senate rule 37.

" He shall present to the Governor and enter upon
the journals such bills as shall have originated in the
Senate and been passed by both Houses. He shall,
subject to the rules of the Senate, transmit to the As-
sembly all bills or concurrent resolutions which have
passed the Senate." — Subdivision 3 of Senate rule 4.

" The question on the final passage of every bill shall
• be taken by ayes and noes, which shall be entered on the
journal, and unless the bill receive the number of votes
required by the Constitution to pass it, it shall be de-
clared lost, except in cases provided for by the twenty- ■
fifth rule, and such question shall be taken immediately
after the third reading and without debate." — Senate
rule 21.

** In all cases where a bill, order, motion or resolution
shall be entered on the journal, the name of the member^
introducing or moving the same shall also be entere d ^j^
the journal." — Assembly rule 47.

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566 Clerk's Manual.

" The yeas and nays may be taken on any qnestion,
whenever so required by any ten members (unless a divi-
sion by yeas and nays be already pending), and when so
taken, shall be entered on the Journal."— Assembly rule 48.

" All questions of order, as they shall occur, with the
decisions thereon, shall be entered in the Journal, and at
the close of the session, a statement of all such questions
and decisions shall be printed at the close of and as an
appendix to the Journal."— Assembly rule 50.

Under these requirements, coupled with usage and
precedent, the making up of the journal is left to the
discretion of the Clerk, on- consultation with the
presiding officer, or under his direction, in doubtful
cases, subject always to correction by the House.

But there are matters that do not necessarily form
part of the journal.

Proceedings in committee of the whole, from the time
the President leaves, until he resumes the chair, are never
entered on the journal. The report of the chairman,
which includes only results, is all that is recorded. Nor
can they or any part thereof find a place there except
under the fifteenth rule of the Senate, which permits
amendments offered in committee of the whole to be
renewed in the House.

Propositions made and withdrawn, or not entertained,
or ruled out of order by the Chair, and not pressed
by the mover under an appeal, or in some other form,
unless essential to a proper understanding of other parts
of the record, are generally onutted i^ niaking yp thQ

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Clerk's Manual. 667

Bills are not entered on the Journal, but by their
titles only, or such parts thereof as may be affected
by proposed amendments.

This remark applies also to the details of proceed-
ings with closed doors, under a call of the House,
where the call is suspended before anything has been
done requiring a resort to the police power of the
House, or to some form of discipline in open or
closed session. But in other cases, the record being
essential to the protection of the officers of the
House, or to the justification of the House itself, or,
on the other hand, to the vindication of the rights of
members, if unjustly assailed, it should form part of
the journal.

Both Houses have made provision for the publica-
tion of the Journal.

•* It shall be the duty of the Clerk to have the Journal of
each day's proceedings printed, and copies thereof placed
on the files of the President, Senators and reporters within
three days after approval by the Senate."— Subdivision 1
of Senate rule 4.

The Senate rule applies, of course, only to its
journal of legislative proceedings; the publication of
its journal of proceedings had with closed doors
being expressly forbidden by rule 38. But the Sen-
ate may, and sometimes does, remove the injunction
of secrecy as regards portions of these proceedings
as well as the debate thereon; and either House may,
at its discretion, direct the suppression or suspension
of the publication of portions of its legislative

568 Clerk's Manual.

•• The fact that the Journal is not printed and on the
desks as required by the rules, Is no valid objection to the
reading of a bill In its regular order."— Speaker Malby, As-
sembly Journal, 1894, p. 274.

M rpjjg President shall take the chair at the hour to which
the Senate shall have adjourned, and a quorum being pres-
ent, the Journal of the preceding day shall be read, to
the end that any mistakes therein may be corrected.'*—
Senate rule 1.

•' The first business of each day's session shall be the
reading of the Journal of the preceding day, and the cor-
rection of any errors that may be found to exist therein."—
Assembly rule 5.

The reading of the journal bringing under review
all that transpired during the next preceding daily
session, presents the opportunity to members, while
fresh to the subject, of proposing corrections by way
of amendment.

But this review is not final or conclusive against
subsequent corrections. On Information of a mis-
entry or omission of an entry in the Journal, a com-
mittee may be appointed to examine and rectify it
and report it to the House.

So, under a reconsideration of the vote approving
of the journal, errors of commission or omission may
be corrected without the intervention of a committee,
or even without a consideration, by unanimous con-

No general rule, comprehensive or exclusive
enough, can be laid down as to what should and
what should not be entered on the journal. The
Constitution and the Rules prescribe what shall be
entered in certain cases. Usage and precedent are
the only guides in all other cases.

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Clebk's Manual.' 569

Order of Business.

"After the reading and approving of the journal the
order of business shall be as follows: 1. The presenta-
tion of petitions. 2. Introduction of bills by districts,
in their numerical order. 3. Messages from the Assem-
bly. 4. Messages from the Grovernor. 5. Reports of
standing committees. 6. Reports of select committees.
7. Communications and reports from State officers. 8.
Third reading of bills. 9. Motions and resolutions. 10.
Special orders. 11. General orders, but messages from
the GrOvernor and Assembly and communications and re-
ports from. State officers may be received at any time,
and the Committees on Rules, Engrossed Bills, Revision,
and Privileges and Elections, when the report involves
the right of a Senator to his seat, may report at any
time, and it shall always be in order to call up for
consideration a report from the Committee on Rules."
— Senate rule 1.

"The first business of each day's session shall be the
reading of the journal of the preceding day, and the
correction of any errors that may be found to exist
therein. Immediately thereafter, except on days and
at times set apart for the consideration of special orders,
the order of business, which shall not be departed from,
except by a vote of two- thirds of the members present,
to be determined by a call of the roll, shall be as fol-
lows: 1. Messages from the Governor and from the
Senate, communications from State officers, reports from
State institutions, and reports from the Committees on
Revision and Printed and Engrossed Bills. 2. First
reading of a bill by its title, and reference of the same.
3. Reports of standing committees in their order. (See
Rule 18.) 4. Reports of select committees. After the
foregoing orders liave been finished the following shall
be the orders of the day: For Mondays: 1. Bills on
second reading; 2. Original resolutions by counties in
alphabetical order, during months of January and Feb-
ruary only; 3. Unfinished business (other than bills]

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570 Clerk's Manual.

may be considered. For Tuesdays: 1. Bills on third
reading; 2. Bills on second reading. For Wednesdays:
1. Bills on second reading; 2. Bills on third reading.
For Thursdays: 1. Bills on third reading; 2. Bills on
second reading. For Fridays: 1. Bills on second read-
ing; 2. Bills on third reading. For Saturdays: 1. Bills
on second reading. When the regular orders for any day
shall be gone through, the following shall be the order
of business: 1. Bills on third reading; 2. Bills on sec-
ond reading. When the consideration of the orders of
the day is not finished^ those not acted upon shall be
the orders for the next and each succeeding day until
disposed, and shall be entered first in the calendar, with-
out change in their order." — Assembly rule 5.

This prescribed round of business, which is substan-
tially the same in both Houses, varied only by trans-
position and subdivision, may be superseded in whole
or in part, or it may be, and often is, substantially

Thus, where a bill has been made a special order, to
be taken up immediately after the reading of the jour-
nal or at a particular hour; in the one case the pre-
scribed round of business may be entirely set aside for
the day; in the other, all the orders not reached when
the special order intervened. But the special order be-
ing disposed of and time permitting, either the regular
order of business is taken up, commencing with introduc-
tion of bills, or business is resumed at the point where
the special order found it.

So, in the absence of any special order, where it is
desirable to reach any particular class of business be-
fore it comes up in turn, all intervening orders are
successively laid on the table as soon as announced, to
be resumed when the pressing business is disposed of,
if time permit; but not until every order of business,
succeeding and including the one thus reached, has been
gone through with or disposed of by laying on the table.

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Clerk*s Manual. 571

The Presentation of Petitions.
The rules regulating the reception of petitions In
both Houses are these:

*• A Senator presenting a paper shall indorse the same;
If a petition, memorial or report to the Legislature, with a
brief statement of Its subject or contents, adding his name;
If a notice or resolution, with his name; If a report of a
•rommlttee, a statement of such report, with the name of
the committee and member making the same.*'~ Senate
rule 6.

** Petitions, memorials and remonstrances may be pre-
sented to the Clerk at the close of each day's session.**—
Assembly rule 14.

The questions that usually arise on the presenta-
tion of petitions are questions of reference. Gen-
erally they are referred by the Speaker, without mo-
tion or question put, to the standing committee indi-
cated by the indorsement as the appropriate com-
mittee; or, if the bill or subject to which they relate
is on the general or special orders, or before a standi
ing or select committee, then to the committee of
the whole or the standing or select committee having
the bill or subject in charge.

Competing motions to commit have priority among
themselves in the Assembly.

** When a question shall be under consideration no motion
shall be received except as herein specified; which motion
shall have precedence In the order stated, viz.: 1. For an
adjournment of the House. 2. A call of the House. 3. For
the previous question. 4. To lay on the table. 5. To post-
pone to a day certain. 6. To commit. 7. To amend. 8.
To postpone indefinitely." — Assembly rule 24.

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672 Clerk's Manual.

The question sometimes arises wliether a petition
or memorial is respectful in tone or language, or
both, or whether the signatures are genuine.

The presentation of a petition or memorial of the
opposite character being an abuse of a sacred right,

Online LibrarySherman Croswell New York (State). LegislatureThe Clerk's manual of rules, forms and laws for the regulation of business ... → online text (page 37 of 45)