Bipartisan Operating Agreements for Tied Legislatures in Other States and in the U.S. Senate

June 17, 2009

The New York State Senate remains deadlocked with 31 Senators in the Democratic Conference and 31 Senators affiliated with the Republican Conference.

Article III § 9 of the constitution dictates that in order to conduct business in the chamber, there must be a majority of Senators elected – 32 Senators — to have a quorum to conduct legislative business.

Over the past 40 years there have been dozens of examples of legislatures, including the United States Senate, that have developed bipartisan operating agreements to allow the passage of essential legislation and assure stable functioning of floor operations during the deadlock.

The following reports were prepared as background for consideration of a bipartisan operating agreement for the New York State Senate during the coming days, and includes the full text of several bipartisan operating agreements.

Find the Report Summary and examples of bipartisan operating agreements from New Jersey and Indiana here.

For examples from Michigan, Maine and Montana, see here.

For examples from Oklahoma, Washington State, and the U.S. Senate, see here.