Senate Rules Reform Part 2

July 16, 2009

Brief overview of the reforms contained in the new rules resolution (R2844) include:

  • 8-year Term Limits for the Temporary President, Majority Leader, Minority Leader and Chairs and Ranking Members of Committees
  • New motion to move a bill on the calendar to a vote on the floor by a simple majority
  • New motion in committee that will allow a bill sponsor to receive a vote in committee
  • New signed petition by 3/5 members to move a bill to a final vote even if it has been voted down in committee
  • Base allocation for all Senators (codifying policy announced by Senator Smith in January)
  • Additional funding committee staff for majority and minority
  • Proactive publication of records relating to the legislative process currently available under FOIL
  • Requirement that committee conduct oversight of administration of laws and programs by agencies within its jurisdiction


In addition, the Senate passed two additional resolutions: future work of the Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform (R2843) and a new Joint Rule with the Assembly (B2775) to create a state public affairs network:

  • The Temporary Committee has been tasked, per its recommendation on April 21, to report by December 1, 2009, on: consolidating committees, which will lead to an end of absentee voting in committees; creating an amendment process in committee; and developing standards for committee reports
  • The bicameral Joint Advisory Board with the Assembly is tasked with reporting on a state public affairs network by November 1, 2009, and increasing current programming on Legislative cable channel