Sherman Croswell New York (State). Legislature.

The Clerk's manual of rules, forms and laws for the regulation of business ... online

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which must be laid over one day, under the rules of
both Houses, as of course, and others, which may or
may not be, as the House may direct.

"When a question has once been put and decided, it
shall be in order for any Senator to move for the recon-
sideration thereof; but no motion for the reconsidera-
tion of any vote shall be in order after the bill, resolu-
tion, message, report, amendment or motion, upon which
the vote was taken, shall have gone out of the posses-
sion of the Senate; and before the first day of March, no
bill or resolution shall be sent from the Senate on the
day of its passage; nor shall any motion for reconsidera-
tion be in order unless made on the same day on which
the vote was taken, or within the next three days of the
actual session of the Senate thereafter. Nor shall any
question be reconsidered more than once. But when a
bill or resolution shall have been recalled from the Gov-
ernor or from the Assembly, a motion for reconsidera-
tion may be made at any time thereafter while the san?
is in the possession of the Senate, and all resolutio'

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588 Clebk's Manual.

recalling a bill or resolution from the Governor or As-
sembly shall be regarded as privileged. No vote shall
be reconsidered upon either of the following motions:

" To adjourn.
*"To lay on the table." — Senate rule 30.

"All concurrent resolutions shall lie on the table at
least one day, except as otherwise directed in rules 18
and 30, and except concurrent resolutions referring to
adjournment." — Senate rule Si.

" The following classes of resolutions shall lie over
one day for consideration, after which they may be
called up as, of course, under their appropriate order of
business :

" 1. All concurrent resolutions, except resolutions in
reference to adjournments, and those recalling bills from
the Governor or Senate, which shall be regarded as privi-

" 2. Resolutions containing calls for information on
the Executive department.

" 3. Resolutions giving rise to debate, except such as
relate to the disposition of matters immediately before
the House, such as relate to the business of the day on
which they were offered, and such as relate to adjourn-
ment or taking recess for a day." — ^Assembly rule 15.

There is a class of motions which must be referred
as of course.

"All resolutions for the printing extra copies of docu-
ments shall be referred to the Committee on Printing,
which shall report on each resolution within seven days
after such reference." — Assembly rule 16.

"All other resolutions calling for, or leading to ex-
penditures shall be referred to, and be reported on, by
the Committee on Ways and Means." — ^Assembly rule 17.

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Clerk's Manual. 589

TTnfinislied Business.

This order of business is peculiar to the Assembly,
and includes bills or resolutions originally on the
order of second reading which have been acted on
but not disposed of.

Bills thus acted on, but not disposed of, constitute
a preferred class of bills on second reading, and have
precedence over those that have not been reached,
if their consideration be insisted on.

Unfinished business of every other description can
be called up only when the order of business to
which it belongs comes around in turn.

Special Orders of the Day.

Where a bill has been made a special order for a
particular day, without any other specification as to
time, it must await the announcement of the order
of business before it can be reached.

Thus it sometimes happens that a special order for
a certain day is not reached at all; and hence the
practice in making special orders, of specifying, not
only the day, but the hour or stage in the daily rou-
tine of business when such special order shall be
taken up.

Bills that are made special orders are, of course,
considered in the order of business in which they,
stand. Resolutions contemplating an amendment
of the Constitution, are acted on in the same man-
ner as bills.

The rules of the two Houses touching special
ders are as follows:

590 CLERKS Manual.

" Whenever any bill or other matter is made a special
order for a particular day, and it shall not be completed
on that day, it shall, unless otherwise ordered, retain its
place on the calendar, as a special order in the order ol
business in which it was considered ; and when a special
order is under consideration, it shall take precedence ol
any special order for a subsequent hour of the same day ;
but such subsequent special order may be taken up im*
mediately after the previous special order has been dlS'
posed of." — Senate rule 12.

•• Any matter may be made a special order for any par-
ticular day, by the assent of two-thirds of the members
present. When so made, a similar vote shall be requisite
to rescind or oostpone."— Assembly rule 22.

During tne last ten days of thQ session a notice
may be given requesting that any matter be made
a special order, or that the rules be suspended for
the purpose of reading a bill out of its order, which
shall be referred, without debate, to the Committee
on Rules. The member making the motion or giving
the notice shall submit In writing the reasons for
making such special order or suspension, and attach
thereto a copy of the bill.

The Committee may report at any time, and such
report shall stand as the determination of the House,
unless otherwise ordered by a vote of two-thirds of
the members present, and the Committee shall not
be discharged from the further consideration of any
matter pending, unless by a like vote.

Assembly rule 23.

Of the Brights, Powers and Duties of tlie President
and Speaker.
" He (the Lieutenant-Governor) shall be President of the
Senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein." — Con-
Btitution, art. 4, § 7.

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Clerk's Manual. 591

•• The President shall preserve order and decorum; in
case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct In the lobby
he shall have power to order the same to be cleared; he
shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal to the
Senate. On every appeal he shall have the right, In
his place, to assign his reasons for his decision; he shall
appoint all committees, except when the Senate shall other-
wise order. When the Senate shall be ready to go Into
committee of the whole, he shall name a chairman to pre-
side therein."— Subdivision 1 of Senate rule 2.

'• He shall assign to the Doorkeepers their respective du-
ties and stations.'*— Subdivision 2 of Senate rule 2.

'* The Speaker shall take the chair each day at the hour
to which the House shall have adjourned. He shall call
to order, and, except in the absence of a quorum, shall
proceed to business in the manner prescribed by these
rules."— Assembly rule 1.

" He shall possess the powers and perform the duties
herein prescribed, viz.: 1. He shall preserve order and
decorum, and. In debate, shall prevent personal reflections,
and confine members to the question under discussion.
When two or more members rise at the same time, he
shall name the one entitled to the floor. 2. He shall de-
cide all questions of order subject to appeal to the House.
On every appeal he shall have the right, in his place, to
assign his reason for his decision. In case of such appeal
no member shall speak more than once. 3. He shall ap-
point all committees, except where the House shall other-
wise order. 4. He may substitute any member to perform
the duties of the chair for a period not exceeding two con-
secutive legislative days, but for no longer period, except
by special consent of the House. 5. He shall designate the
persons who shall act as reporters for the public press,
not exceeding thirty in number; but no reporter shall be
admitted to the floor who is not an authorized representa-
tive of a dally paper. Such reporters, so appointed, shall
be entitled to such seats as the Speaker shall designate,
and shall have the right to pass to and fro from such
seats in entering or leaving the Assembly Chamber. 6. He
shall not be required to vote In ordinary legislative pro-
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592 Olebk's Manual.

oeedings, except where his vote would be decisive. 7. He
shall have general control, except as provided by rule or
law, of the Assembly Chamber and of the corridors and
passages in that part of the Capitol assigned to the use
of the Assembly. In case of any disturbance or dis-
orderly conduct in the galleries, corridors or passages,
he shall have power to order the same to be cleared, and
may cause any person guilty of such disturbance or dis-
orderly conduct to be brought before the bar of the
House. In all such cases the members present may take
such measures as they phall deem necessary to prevent
a repetition of such misconduct, either by the infliction
of censure or pecuniary penalty, as they may deem best,
on the parties thus offending. 8. He shall also be ex-
officio member and Chairman of the Committee on
Rules." — ^Assembly rule 2.

The rights, powets and duties of the presiding officer.
Senators and Clerk are discussed at length in the ma-
jority and minority reports of the Senate Committee on
the Judiciary, which appear in the Senate Journal of
1894 at page 1556 et seq.

The Speaker of the House has a right to appoint a
substitute for a period not exceeding two consecutive
legislative days, while in the absence of the Lieutenant-
Governor the temporary President acts as President.

The temporary President, Speaker and Speaker pro
tern., whilst they retain their right to vote when pre-
siding, being members of their respective Houses, part
with the right to participate in debate or to speak from
the chair, except on points of order, being subject in
this respect to the rule applicable to their principals.

The rule of the Assembly which gives the Speaker
the right to assign reasons for a decision, imder an'
appeal, virtually recognizes the general rule thus broadly
laid down in the Manual.

The President of the Senate has only a casting vote
therein, and on appeals may, in his place, assign reasons
for his decision.

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Clerk's Manual. 693

Of Appeals.

An appeal from a decision of the chair brings under
review, and opens to debate, the grounds of such de-

The Speaker, by the rules of the House, and the
President of the Senate, by usage and courtesy, have
the right to assign reasons for a decision before the
question is put on the appeal.

The form of the question on an appeal is not, " Shall
the appeal be sustained ? " but " Shall the decision of
the Chair stand as the judgment of the House?" or
" the Senate," as the case may be.

Of course, such decision, unless affirmed by a majority
of the members present and voting, is reversed.

Whether the Speaker of the House may, of right
participate in the vote on affirming his own decision
is a question which would, perhaps, never have been
mooted, but for the fact of such participation in a
single instance in the legislative history of the State.
But since, with this exception, the right, if it exist,' has
been always waived and the decision left with the ap-
pellate tribunal, the matter may be safely left to repcsi
where it is.

The question whether the President of the Senate
may not of right give a casting vote on an appeal from
his own decision had a similar, if not a contemporaneous
origin, and was at the time the topic of extended debate
and of remark in and out of the Senate.

The affirmative argument was that the Constitution
gives the President the right to determine all questions
on which the Senate shall be equally divided, except
questions on the final passage of bills or joint resolu-
tions (which can only be carried by the affirmative vote
of a majority of two-thirds of all the Senators elected),
and that his casting vote on an appeal, which settles

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594 Clerk's Manual.

the law of the Senate in a particular case, is as much a
matter of right as in the case of an equally divided
Senate on the question of adopting the standing rules
or any of them in the outset.

The negative position is, that were there nothing in
the nature of an appeal from the decision of the Chair,
to exclude the President from Voting on it, the form of
the question, " Shall the decision of the Chair stand as
the judgment of the Senate?" itself, in terms, excludes
his vote, the President not being a member of the Senate.
That if the President has a right to untie a vote on the
adoption of the rules in the beginning, he has no right
to decide, for the Senate, questions of construction in-
volved in an appeal, and thus, in effect, to enact rules
which a majority of the Senate refuse to sanction.

The rule of most frequent application in cases of
appeal is that which forbids the piling of one appeal
on another. No second appeal can be entertained whilst
the original is undisposed of.

Another rule, not less essential to prevent confusion
and embarrassment, is that which forbids an appeal
\from a mere dictum or opinion of the Chair, drawn
out by interrogatories on points of order. Such opinions
or dicta must take the form of actual decisions on ques-
tions legitimately coming up in the progress of busi-
ness before they are subject to an appeal.

Motion to table an appeal from a decision of the Chair
does not carry with it the subject-matter; it carries only
the appeal.

Of Order and Decorum.

The rules of the two Houses for the preservation of
order and decorum during business are as follows:

" Senators shall not speak to each other or otherwise
interrupt the business of the Senate, or read any news-
paper while the Journals or public papers are being



Clerk's Manual. 595

read; or walk out of or across the chamber when the
President is putting a question, or when a Senator is
speaking pass between him and the Chair." — Subdivi-
sion 2 of Senate rule 6.

"A Senator rising to debate or to present a petition
or other paper, to give a notice, msike a motion or re-
port, shall address the President and shall not proceed
further until recognized by the Chair; he shall speak
on the same subject but twice the same day without
leave of the Senate; and where two or more Senators
address the Chair, the President shall name the Senator
who is first to speak.'' — Subdivision 3 of Senate rule 6.

"All motions shall be reduced to writing, if desired by
the President or any Senator, delivered to the Clerk and
read before the same shall be debated. Any motion may
be withdrawn at any time before decision or amend-
ment." — Senate rule 26.

" When a Senator shall be called to order he shall
take his seat until the President shall have determined
whether he is in order or not, and if decided to be out
of order, he shall not proceed without the permission of
the Senate; and every question of order shall be de-
cided by the President, subject to an appeal to the Sen-
ate by any Senator, and no second appeal shall be de-
termined imtil the original appeal shall be decided ;
and, if a Senator shall be called to order for words
spoken, the words excepted to shall be immediately
taken down in writing." — Senate rule 36.

" The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum, and
shall decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal
to the House." — Assembly rule 2.

** While the Speaker is putting a question, or a count
is being had, no member shall speak or leave his place."
— Assembly rule 40.

" When a motion to adjourn is carried, the members
and officers shall keep their seats and places imtil the
Speaker declares the House adjourned." — Assembly rule

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596 Clebk's Manual.

" No member rising to debate, to give notice, make a
motion or report, or to present a petition or other
paper, shall proceed until he shall have addressed the
Speaker and have been recognized by him." — Assembly
rule 38.

" While a member is speaking, no member shall enter-
tain any private discourse, or pass between him and the
Chair.*' — Assembly rule 39.

" No member shall speak except in his place, nor more
than twice upon any question without leave of the
House. No member shall speak for more than fifteen
minutes at a time except by consent of two-thirds of
the members present." — Assembly rule 42.

" If any member in speaking transgresses the rules of
the House, the Speaker, or any member may call to
order; in which case, the member so called to order shall
immediately sit down and shall not rise unless to ex-
plain or proceed in order." — Assembly rule 43.

The rules of the two Houses indicate, to a limited
extent only, points of order that may arise during the
progress of business.

Jefferson's Manual states other cases of not imfre-
quent occurrence. For instance:

It is deemed a breach of order, in debate, to speak
impertinently or beside the question, superfluously or
tediously; to reflect on any proceeding or determina-
tion of the House, unless with a view to, or in support
of, a motion to rescind; to allude to a member by name,
or to indulge in personalties toward him by arraigning
his motives in his official course, or otherwise; to allude
to what has been said in the other House on a subject
under debate, or to the particular votes or majorities
on it there; or to speak disrespectfully of the other
branch, or to interrupt a member in his speech by hiss-
ing, coughing, calls for " the question," etc., etc.

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Clerk's Manual. 597

So it may be added, it is a breach of order to ap-
plaud a member by clapping of hands or stamping of

A member called to, and decided to be out of order
in debate cannot proceed, even in order, if objections
be made, without leave of the House.

On the other hand, it is a breach of order in the
Chair to refuse to put a question which is in order.

The grosser breaches of order, such as assaults and
affrays, and the proceedings thereon, are treated of fully
in Jefferson's Manual.

Most of the questions ordinarily occurring in legisla-
tive business are specifically provided for by the stand-
ing rules of the House; but questions and complications
of questions often arise for which no provision has
been made. In the determination of these, the custom
is to follow precedent, or the usual parliamentary prac-
tice, where it is known. *' Cushing's Manual " i^ the
authority usually referred to in cases of this kind, be-
cause of its supposed applicability to most questions
likely to occur in legislative business, and approaches
more nearly, in the practice it lays down, to that
which has of late years prevailed in the Legislature.

Order in Debate.
It is a breach of order to speak impertinently or be-
side the question superfluously or tediously. To reflect
on any determination or proceeding of the House, unless
with a view to or in support of a motion to rescind.
To allude to a member by name or to indulge in per-
sonalities by arraigning a member's motives in his ofS-
cial course, or to allude to what has been said in the
otlicr House, or to the particular votes or majorities
given on any measiire there, or to speak disrespectfully
of the other branch.

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598 Clerk's Manual.

Order of Business.
When gone through with can only be resumed by
unanimous consent.

Lt.-Gov. Saxton, Senate Journal, 1896, p. 386.
Motion to suspend can only be made in order of
motions and resolutions.

Lt.-Gov. Woodruff, Senate Journal, 1897, p. 1325.

Of the Bules In Begard to Voting.

"Upon a division in the Senate, the names of those
who voted for or against a question, shall be entered al-
phabetically on the JournaJ, if any Senator requires it,
except upon motion to excuse a Senator from voting,
which shall be decided by count ; and each Senator called
upon, unless for special reasons he is excused by the
Senate, shall declare openly and without debate, his as-
sent or dissent to the question." — Senate rule 37.

" Every member who shall be within the bar of the
House when a question is stated from the Chair, shall
vote thereon, unless he is excused by the House, or im-
less he is directly interested in the question. Nor shall
the roll of absentees be more than once called. The bar
of the House shall be deemed to include the body of the
Assembly Chamber." — Assembly rule 32.

"Any member requesting to be excused from voting,
upon the final passage of a bill or upon the passage of a
resolution requiring the expenditure of money, may
make, when his name is called, a brief statement of the
reasons for making such request, not exceeding two min-
utes in time; and the House, without debate, shall de-
cide if it will grant such request; but nothing in this
rule contained shall abridge the right of any member to
record his vote on any question previous to the an-
noimcement of the result." — Assembly rule 61.

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Clerk's Manual. 599

The rules of both Houses permit a member, when
called upon to vote, to ask to be excused, and to assign,
of course, briefly, and by the Assembly rule, verbally,
his reasons. If not excused, his refusal or neglect to
vote is a breach of order, and pimishable as such.

But the member refusing or omitting to vote, to be
amenable to punishment, must have had every opportu-
nity which the rules secure to understand the question
on which he is required to put himself on record; a
previous compliance with all the other rules that are
applicable being necessary to sanction the infliction of
punishment in such a case.

Votes — Change of.
In a legislative body no member is allowed, under any
circumstance, to vote or change his vote after the result
is announced by the chair. Under such circumstances,
a member, if he desires to have his opinion known, may,
if allowed, have a statement put upon the journal as
to the way he would have voted. Warrington, p. 25.

Vote — Tie.

When there is a tie vote the motion fails unless the
chair gives his vote in the affirmative. Roberts, p. 94.

Of Privileged Questions.

Privileged questions are so-called, because they arc-
exceptions to the general rule, that the question first
moved and seconded must be first put.

Privileged questions are either made such by
special rule or parliamentary usage, or they are


600 Clerk's Manual.

necessarily incidental to, and arise out of, other
questions, privileged or not.

Privileged questions, of course, take the place of
and must be decided before the primary question,
or the question to which they are incidental.

Privileged questions not only take the place of the
primary question or the question to which they are
incidental, but they may take the place of each other,
being of diflCerent grades among themselves, and hav-
ing precedence one over another.

The class of privileged questions established by
special rule will be first considered.

They are privileged questions on filling blanks:

•* When a blank is to be filled, and different sums or
times shall be proposed, the question shall be first taken
on the highest sum and longest time."— Senate rule 29.

There is then the class of privileged questions gen-
erally; that is, such as are equally applicable what-
ever the question before the House.

" When a question is before the Senate, only the following
motions shall be received, and such motions shall have prece-
dence in the order here stated, viz.: 1. For an adjournment.
2. For a call of the Senate. 3. To lay on the table. 4. To
postpone indefinitely. 5. To postpone to a certain day.
6. To commit to a standing committee. 7. To commit to
a select committee. 8. To commit to the committee of
the whole. 9. To amend. The motion to adjourn or for
a call of the Senate or to lay on the table shall be decided
without debate, and shall always be in order, except as
provided in rules 1-33 and 48." — Senate rule 25.

" When a question shall be under consideration no motion
shall be received, except as herein specified, which motions

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Clerk's Manual. 601

shall have precedence in the order stated, tIe.: 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 certain day. 6. To commit. 7. To amend. 8. To
postpone Indefinitely." — Assembly rule 24.

It will be perceived that the rules of both Houses
establish a class of privileged questions, and give
priority to one privileged question over another, as-
signing to the question of adjournment the foremost

Online LibrarySherman Croswell New York (State). LegislatureThe Clerk's manual of rules, forms and laws for the regulation of business ... → online text (page 39 of 45)