Simulation House Rules
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1-1. Representatives. Representatives mean those students currently enrolled in American Government sections.
1-2. Committee. Committee refers to groups of eighteen to twenty-five Representatives selected from each of the government classes. Each committee should consist of students from as many classes as possible. The committees should also reflect the ratio of democrats to republicans in the Simulation. The Rules Committee will establish the committee assignments. Committees will be formed as soon as possible after the party declaration date.
1-3. Committee Hearings. The committee hearings are conducted during a three and one half hour block of time. Each committee meets separately and processes the assigned bills.
1-4. Full Session. Three half sessions are held. Each session is a three and one half hour block of time. Bills that pass out of the committee hearings are processed during the full sessions.
1-5. 20th Legislative Session. "20th Legislative Session means the 20th time the Simulation has been conducted. One Legislative Session is held each semester.
1-6. Majority Vote. Majority vote in the Full Session means one half plus one of the the total American government students enrolled in government classes. Majority vote in the Committees means one half plus one all the students assigned to the committee. If 19 votes are cast, a majority is 10. If 20 votes are cast, a majority is 11. If 21 votes are cast, a majority is 11.
1-7. Legislative Measures. Legislative measures means all matters brought before the House for consideration and includes bills, amendments, resolutions, and motions.
1-8. House Calendar. House calendar refers to the legislative synopsis handout that is prepared prior to the Committee Hearings and the Full Session.
1-9. Record vote means a vote cast in public and permanently recorded.
1-10. Quorum. A majority of Representatives is necessary to conduct business in the Rules Committee, Standing Committees, and Full Session.
2-1. Powers and duties of the Speaker of the House.
a) Elected by the entire legislative body.
b) Must be a member of the majority party.
c) Serves as leader of the majority party.
d) Selects students to position of Sergeant at Arms and Head Clerk.
e) Allots the amount of discussion time to Floor Leaders for each bill.
f) Determines, in conjunction with the Rules Committee, the order of bill discussion in the Full Session proceedings.
2-2. Powers and duties of the Majority Floor Leader.
a) Elected by the membership of the majority party.
b) Manages floor debate for the majority party during the Full Session.
c) Appoints a Head Whip.
d) Prepares a bill recommendation sheet.
2-3. Powers and duties of the Minority Floor Leader.
a) Elected by the membership of the minority party.
b) Manages floor debate for the Minority party during the Full Session.
c) Appoints a Head Whip.
d) Serve as leader for the minority party.
2-4. Powers and duties of the Majority Committee Chairman during Committee Hearings. The Committee Chairman serves as an assistant whip and manages the vote process during the Full Session.
a) Appoints a Committee Clerk, Secretary, and Parliamentarian.
b) Determines the order bills are heard in the Committee.
c) Establishes debate time for each bill.
d) Prepares a record of the vote results.
e) Presides over the Committee Hearings.
f) Prepares a voter recommendation sheet for their committee members.
2-5. Powers and duties of the Minority Committee Chairman.
a) Serves as an assistant whip during the Full Session.
b) Manages the vote process for his or her block of Representatives during the Full Session.
c) Prepares a voter recommendation sheet for their committee members.
d) Presides over at least 2 bills in committee hearings.e.) Selects an assistant clerk for the full session.
2-6. Powers and duties of the Elections Director.
a) Manages and organizes the candidates petition applications and petitions.
b) Organizes and administers the election day.
c) Prepares a vote result sheet for distribution.
d) Prepares an analysis of the vote results.
e) Acts as chairman for the seven person elections commission.
f) Organizes and administers special elections as needed.
g) Updates, on a daily basis, the progress of each candidate with regard to the number of signatures obtained during the petition phase of the elections process. AF98
h) Prepares and publishes ballots.
I) Maintains an elections bulletin board in the classroom.
2-7. Powers and duties of the Parliamentarian.
a) The Parliamentarian is appointed by the Speaker of the House.
b) The Parliamentarian makes decisions during the Full Session regarding application of House Rules and Roberts Rules of Order.
c) The decisions of the Parliamentarian override those of the Speaker of the House regarding issues related to House Rules and Roberts Rules of Order.
2-8. Powers and duties of the Sergeant at Arms
a) The Sergeant at Arms assists in assuring that order and decorum are maintained during the Committee Hearing and Full Session proceedings.
b) The Sergeant at Arms is utilized only at the request of the Majority Committee Chairman or the Speaker of the House.
c) When escorting a person out of the Committee or Full Session proceedings the Sergeant at Arms is prohibited from touching or conversing with the offender.
2-9. Powers and Duties of the Rules Committee
a) The Rules Committee will consist of one student from each class. Each student will be elected from the class that she or he represents.
b) A chairman will be elected by the Committee Members three days after the committee is established.
c) After the leadership elections if the chairman of the commission is of the majority party he or she will cede their position to the Speaker of the House. If the chairman is of the minority party he or she will become the minority chairman.
d) All powers not specifically mentioned in the House Rules will be automatically given to the Rules Committee. AF98
e) After the leadership elections the Majority and Minority Floor Leaders plus the Speaker of the House become members of the Rules Committee.
f) When all students have declared their party affiliation and after the Leadership Elections, the Speaker of the House will appoint additional members if necessary in order for the Rules Committee to reflect the ratio of democrats to republicans reflected in the elected legislature.
g) Original members of the committee (prior to the Leadership Elections) will remain on the committee even if they have not assumed elected leadership positions.
h) The Rules Committee may introduce four additional bills into the legislative system.
i) Specific Responsibilities of the committee include the following:
1. Administration and organization of the simulation (oversees the volunteer positions).
2. Determination of committee membership.
3. Approves bills and amendments for clarity, quality, and format.
4. Assignment of bills to committees.
5. Makes advisory recommendations to Committee Chairman regarding committee amendments.
6. Recommends changes to the House Rules.
7. Makes advisory recommendations to the Speaker of the House regarding Full Session amendments.
8. Makes final decisions regarding election disputes in conjunction with the Elections Commission. j) The Rules Committee will create amendments to the House Rules that address issues and problems related to the Simulation. AF98
k) Amendments to the House Rules made before the Full Session must be approved by two thirds of the Rules Committee and ratified by three fourths of the classes. Amendments approved during the full session must be ratified by three fourths of the Representatives. AF98
1. Selects committee chairmen utilizing recommendations from caucus leaders (502)
2-10. Powers and Duties of the Elections Commission
a) The elections commission will consist of one student from each class. Each student will be elected from the class he or she represents.
b) An elections director will be elected by the commission members at their first meeting.
c) The elections commission in conjunction with the rules committee will make final decisions regarding elections disputed.
d) Elections commission members may not be on rules committee.
e) Elections results shall be published by the end of the school day on the day of the elections. Students have one school day to officially challenge the election results with the elections commission. A joint committee of the Rules Committee and Elections Commission must resolve elections disputes within 48 hour of the challenge.
2-11. Rules Committee Procedures for Issue Declaration
a) The Rules Committee prior to Issue Kick-Off must have elected a Chair and Secretary.
b) One Rules Committee Member (RCM) must be present 15 minutes prior to Issue Declaration Kick-Off. 1. This RCM will open the doors for person(s) to sign in on that they are waiting for an issue. - This sheet will consist of the following fields: name, time, issue, approval
- The sheet must be approved and validated by an RC vote prior to use.
- The RCM is the only person who can fill in time and approval
- If one field is left blank the entry becomes void. 2. The RCM who opens doors is only allowed to sign himself in after all person(s) sign in first. c) Sign in will be served on a first come, first serve basis. This applies to all person(s) including RCM's.
1. Once signed in the person(s) may not leave the waiting area under any circumstance. If they do their entry becomes void.
2. Only one member of the two person issue group is needed to declare an issue if prior approval is obtained from the Rules Committee due to a zero hour class or other commitment.
Person(s) who are involved in other activities must decide between the activity and Issue Kick-Off, they may not reserve places due to other commitments.
4. The sign in sheet is not an official document, but a preliminary schedule for the approval process. d) 15 minutes after sign in has begun the approval process will begin.
1. Approval process is to be in a room separate of the waiting area.
2. Approval process will involve all members of the Rules Committee. There must be at least 6 people on the Rules Committee, else other person(s) must be designated to serve on the Rules Committee.
Each person must fill one of the following positions:
Note: The positions are listed in the order which the approval process should occur.
Caller - Call people from sign in sheet, one at a time.
Claim Sheet Issuer - This person is to issue a claim sheet to each person(s) as they enter the approval room (Any sheets issued before are void).
Committee Chair - Sign and time all claim sheets.
Secondary Chair - Witness Committee.
Secretary - Record the claim sheet issue.
Approval Chairs (1-3) - Read claim sheet and agree whether or not the ballot has been duplicated, and is written in 8 words or less properly.
All other positions must be filled first; there may be 1, 2 or 3 people in this position. At least one person must serve in this position. If there are not enough people to fill all positions with at least one in the Approval chair position, the person serving as Caller may also be Claim Sheet Issuer.
Board Poster - Place claim sheets on board under appropriate class.
Approval process will be 30 minutes in length. 3. At the end of the 30 minute allotment the RC is open to extend approval time.
4. The RC may extend approval in 5 minute increments up to 15 minutes.
- An extension must have 2/3 approval of the RC.
- All RCM must stay during extended time.
- RCM are permitted to have late passes to their 1st hour classes, person(s) claiming issues are not. 5. Approval process is ended when the RC votes to adjourn. a) The RC may not adjourn before the 30 minute allotment has ended. b) At the conclusion of the Issue Kick-Off the Secretary is to post a list of all Issues and who they are assigned to. This is to be posted within the day.
- This is to be amended to daily. Committee members are responsible for updating the secretary with newly declared issues daily.
- This list is to be printed out and presented to each RC member. Each RC member is responsible for signing and dating their approval that there are no duplications within the list. This sheet must be returned as an official document of approval before 1st hour the following day. c) Conflict Resolution
1. In the occurrence of a conflict during the Issue Kick-Off the approval process may not be interrupted.
2. All conflicts are to be written on paper and to have signed and timed by the Claim Sheet Issuer.
3. The conflict is to be addressed the following day in a RC meeting.
4. During conflict resolution the person(s) claiming must be present, else the conflict becomes void.
5. The conflict should be presented by the person(s) at the beginning of the meeting
6. The RC has the option of discussing, ignoring, or voting immediately on a proposal from the person(s) claiming the conflict. 2-12 Chief Executive
- Senior standing, not in government class.
- Received at least a "B" in previous Social Studies class.
- Received and accepted a nomination from sitting member of current legislative semester.
- Completes and posts letter of intent on BLACKboard by specified date.
- Obtains half of the required signatures by a specified date. All signatures gathered by a candidate beneath this threshold are released at this juncture.
- Obtains the required signatures, or twice the number of required for majority and minority floor leaders, by a later specified date.
- Signatures can be collected only from registered voters of the current legislative semester.
- Candidates may collect only signatures from representatives sharing their political affiliation.
- A Democratic and a Republican candidate will appear on the ballot for leadership elections.
- The winning candidate must win a majority of the votes cast.
- Report to full session Agenda Executive would like to see pursued.
Sign, veto, pocket sign, or pocket veto legislation passed by the current legislative semester. Signed bills become law effective immediately. Vetoed bills are returned with an explanation to the legislature of the rationale behind this decision. The legislature may override an Executive veto with a 2/3 vote of the legislature per registration for the course. Bills passed by the legislature with no Executive action become law at the beginning of the next full session.
3-1. Committee Protocol
a) The Committee Chairman is addressed by committee members as "Mr. Chairman" or "Ms. Chairman".
b) Committee members are addressed by the Committee Chairman and other members as "Representative....".
c) Representatives wishing to speak must first be recognized by the Committee Chairman.
d) Bills must be referred to by their assigned number.
e) Committee members will display a name plaque and wear a name tag denoting party affiliation.
f) Final vote will be by roll call except when parliamentary procedure dictates otherwise.
g) Representatives must be dressed in professional attire during the Committee Hearings.
h) Committees operate under Roberts Rules of Order.
3-2. Procedures for Testimony During Committee Hearings
a) The Committee Chairman determines the order of bill discussion and posts the agenda in the classroom four days prior the Hearings. The agenda is also posted in the Committee Hearing area on the day of the Hearings.
b) Primary and Secondary sponsors, lobbyist, and citizens, who wish to provide verbal testimony must register their intentions with the Committee Chairman the day prior to the scheduled Committee Hearings by filling out a verbal witness statement.
c) Written testimony must be submitted to the Committee Chairman one day prior to the scheduled hearing. The Committee Chairman is not obligated to read aloud the written testimonies. The Committee Chairman is obligated to announce the number of written testimonies for or against the pending bill.
d) The Committee Chairman introduces the bill for discussion. At this point the committee is ready to; 1) hear the opening presentation by the primary sponsor followed by questions from the committee members, 2) Supporting and opposing testimony 3) hear supporting and opposing testimony, 4) and hold discussion over the bill being considered by the committee.
e) The chairman first calls for testimony for and against the bill being considered. Each witness will be allowed a maximum of three minutes for testimony. The Chairman will decide the number of verbal testimonies allowed.
f) At the conclusion of the testimony the committee representatives may question the individual providing the testimony.
g) After all testimony has been completed on a particular bill, the Committee Chairperson announces the close of testimony. At this point committee discussion of the bill begins.
3-3. Committee Discussion
a) Before speaking committee members must be recognized by the chairman. Representatives who are yielded the floor for comment on a bill are awarded three minutes of discussion time. AS98
b) The chairman will announce a time limit for discussion of the bill. A formal motion may be made by a committee member to extend discussion time. The motion must be seconded. A two thirds vote is required.
c) Members who have not spoken have priority over those who have.
d) It is the prerogative of the chairman to make a request for "a call for the question" (vote). He/she will ask for a second and then the vote will immediately take place. This will most often occur at the end of the established discussion time limit but can occur before. If at then end of the established discussion time limit there is no "call for the question" or a second, then the chairman should consider extending the discussion period. Discussion time may be extended only once using parliamentary procedure. After the first extension the chairman has the option of forcing a vote in order to assure that all bills have the opportunity to be heard. The chairman's primary goal is to make sure each bill has had a fair opportunity for discussion.
e) A majority vote approves the bill. A majority is one half plus one of the assigned committee members.
f) The committee cannot be adjourned until all bills have had a fair hearing.
3-4. Committee Amendments Af98
a) Bills may be amended by committee members during the Committee Hearings.
b) Only one Amendment to a bill will be allowed.
c) the formal motion to amend must include an overhead, clearly written, of additions or deletions to the bill.
d) An amendment must have the opportunity for debate immediately following the motion and 2nd and must be approved by a majority vote.
e) Amended bills must be approved by the bill sponsor prior to the formal motion to amend.
3-5. Voting Procedure in Committee
a) The Committee Chairman will conduct the roll call vote.
b) Committee members may vote yes, no, or present.
Full Legislative Session
a) Before speaking Representatives must be recognized by the Speaker of the House.
b) Representatives must be dressed in professional attire during the Full Session.
c) Representatives who obtain the floor are guaranteed one minute of discussion time. AF98
d) Introductory speeches by the primary sponsor of a bill shall not exceed five minutes. Points of Information or request to yield cannot be requested of the introductory speaker. AF98
e) The side of the aisle from which the primary sponsor of a bill speaks will be the origin of debate for that bill.
f) The Speaker of the House will allot an equal amount of time for discussion to both sides of the aisle.
g) The primary sponsor of a bill has the right to be the last speaker. The time limit for the last speaker is one minute. Points of Information or request to yield cannot be requested of the last speaker. AF98
h) A Representative may speak only once on a bill. If there are no other requests from other representatives to speak then a Representative may speak twice on the same bill.
i) If the amendment to a bill passed out of a committee with the stipulation that it receive a 2nd reading amendment fails then that bill will not receive a 3rd reading. Af98
j) Neither the Speaker of the House nor the Floor Leader can grant more than three minutes of discussion time to a Representative. AF98
k) All bills will receive a record vote except when the Floor Leaders and Speaker of the House concur that a voice vote will be acceptable. If the Floor Leaders and Speaker of the House concur that the voice vote is inconclusive then a roll call vote will commence.
l) A voice vote on motions is acceptable. The Speaker of the House may request a roll call on motions if the Floor Leaders and the Speaker of the House together concur that the results are inconclusive.
4-2. Voting Procedure During the Full Session
a) The Speaker of the House will begin the vote process two minutes after the beginning of the roll call process. Af98
b) As soon as the Speaker of the House announces that a vote will be taken the Majority and Minority Committee Chairman will begin the vote process. Each of the Chairman will record the votes for his or her block of Representatives.
c) Each Representatives vote will be displayed on a provided overhead.
d) Vote results for each Committee will be displayed on the overheads.
e) The Speaker of the House will begin the roll call vote within one minute of initiating the vote process.
f) Vote results will be announced by committees or blocks (combinations of committees) and displayed electronically.
g) The democrats will always provide their vote results first.
5.1. Motions Commonly Used in Committee and Full Session
a) During the committee hearings the Committee Chairman will establish an agenda establishing the order in which the bills will be considered. The Speaker of the House will provide an agenda for the Full Session. Because there is a pre established agenda a motion to consider each bill on the agenda is not necessary.
b) During the Committee Hearings the Committee Chairman will establish a time period for discussion for each bill. The Speaker of the House will follow the same procedure in the full session. At the end of the established time period the Chairman in the Committee Hearings or the Speaker of the House in the Full Session, does not need a motion in order to begin the vote on the bill being discussed.
c) If a vote is requested before the established time period has expired a motion, second, and a two thirds vote for the request is required. If a vote for the request is approved then a vote on the motion may commence.
d) A motion, second, and two thirds vote is required in order to extend the discussion time allotted a bill. Only one extension of discussion time is permitted.
e) A failed bill in the committee session can be reconsidered by the committee then passed under the condition that the bill be be amended as requested in the full session. A motion, second, and a majority vote to reconsider must be made. A discussion of the issue must take place followed by a vote on the proposal.
f) Amendments to bills in committee must be initiated by a Motion to Amend.
5-2. Requests for Information during Debate- Requests for information may be made by in two ways.
a) Points of Information may be directed toward the Representative who has the floor for the purpose of debate.
b) Members may request that the person who has the floor yield time for the purpose of making a comment. If the Representative who has the floor twice rejects a request to yield or a Point of Information then a third Point of Information or request to Yield cannot be asked. Af98
5-3. Common Parliamentary Procedure Requests
a) Adjourn Meeting. Majority vote required.
b) Recess. Majority vote required.
c) Point of Order. It is the right of every member who notices a breach of rules or procedures to insist on there enforcement. A member calling out a "point of order" calls attention to the rules violation. No vote required.
d) Call the Question. This motion is used in the simulation to request an end to debate and vote on the issue before the established discussion period has ended. Two Thirds vote is required.
e) Postpone Consideration. Move discussion and vote on a bill to another spot on the agenda. Two thirds vote required.
f) Point of Information. Request for information concerning the discussion at hand. A point of information must always be stated as a question. The question and the response must be channeled through the Committee Chairman or the Speaker of the House. No vote required.
g) Reconsider a Previous Action. To reconsider something previously disposed of. Majority vote required.
h) Suspend the Rules. To consider a matter not on the agenda. Two thirds vote required.
i) Main Motion- To introduce new business. Majority vote required.
j) To vote before the discussion time has expired. Two thirds vote required.
k) Extend discussion time. Two thirds vote required. Because of time restrictions, there is only one motion to extend.
5-4. Because of the time restraints imposed on the Simulation the use of parliamentary motions is limited to those stated in this sections of the House Rules.
5-5. House Rules will take precedence over Parliamentary Rules.
6-1. Positions of Speaker of the House, Majority Floor Leader and Minority Floor Leader will be filled through elections.
6-2. Students seeking an elected position must complete a form titled 'Declaration of Intent for Candidacy. The form must be completed per the schedule provided in the simulation calendar. Petitions will be distributed 24-48 hours after the deadline established for Declarations of Intent at a designated place and time determined by the Election Committee.
6-3. Students who desire to be on the election ballot must obtain and complete a Petition requiring a number of signatures designated for each position. The petition will not be provided until 24 hours after the Declaration of Intent appears on Blackboard.com. Students must possess and maintain a "C" average at the time of candidacy and election.
6-4. Each simulation participant is limited to signing one petition per position. The number of signatures required for each position in a simulation with 150 students is as follows. (Subject to change)
a) Speaker of the House- 35
b) Majority Party Floor Leader- 25
c) Minority Party Floor Leader-20
6-5. The Speaker of the House may obtain signatures from both the minority and majority party members and have maintained a "B" average or above in Government.
6-6. The Majority Party Floor Leader candidates must obtain signatures from only the Majority Party members and have maintained a "B" average or above in Government.
6-7. The Minority Party Floor Leader candidates must obtain signatures from only the Minority Party members. and have maintained a "B" average or above in Government.
6-8. Only those candidates with the required number of signature will be permitted on the election ballot.
6-9. The Election Committee, in conjunction with the Rules Committee, will make all decisions regarding election disputes.
6-10. Signatures placed on the petition form must be completed per instructions on the petition form. Failure to provided the required information will invalidate the signature.
6-11. Candidates who have taken out petitions must actively seek signatures up to the deadline.
6-12. The Elections Committee is required to schedule morning meetings on the following days:
a) Two days before the petition applications are distributed and the day of petition distribution
b) The day after the petition signatures deadline.
c) The day before the elections.
d) The day after the elections.
6-13. Candidates who decide to drop out of the elections race must notify an elections committee person in writing. This written statement must be delivered to the elections chairman within an hour and formally posted in the classroom.
6-14. The students who signed the petition of a candidate who has dropped out of the race may sign other petitions only when the processes outlined in item 6-15 have been completed.
6-15. Procedures in Cases of a Tie
a) When the number of Republicans and Democrats are equal, the elections for Speaker of the House will be opened to both parties. The affiliation of the elected Speaker of the House will become the Simulation majority party. Af98
b) If a tie occurs during the regularly scheduled election for the Speaker of the House, or the Floor Leader then classroom elections will be used to break the tie. Elections will be held the day after the scheduled election. Each candidate (or a person representing the candidate) will be provided, in each class, five minutes of campaign time. A secret ballot using the envelope method, will be the method of instruction and will be administered by the election committee representative. AF98
6-16. Students absent on the day party affiliations are declared must declare their party affiliation in writing or by phone before 3:15 pm on the day designated as the official party declaration day. Drops or adds after the official party declaration date will not change the previously established ratio of democrats to republicans. AF98
Censorship of Representatives
7-1. Representatives may be removed from the floor of the House.
a) The Speaker of the House must first make a Recommendation for the removal.
b) A two thirds vote by the members must approve the recommendation. Af98
7-2. Representatives removed must proceed to the Deans Office and remain there for forty five minutes before returning to the Legislative Session. Af98
7-3. Representatives may be removed from Committee Hearings. Af98
a) The Committee Chairman must first make a Recommendation for the removal.
b) A two thirds vote by the Committee members must approve the recommendation. Af98
7-4. Representatives removed by the Majority Committee Chairman must proceed to the Deans Office and remain there for forty five minutes before returning to the Committee Hearings. Af98
7-5. The elected leadership may be removed from their positions.
7-6. Procedures for removal of the Speaker of the House or Majority Floor Leader.
a) A petition stating the grounds for removal must be signed by one third of the majority party members and submitted to the Chairman of the Rules Committee.
b) The Rules Committee must rule as to whether or not grounds for dismissal are acceptable. Neither a suspension of the rules or a recess can be called for the purpose of the Rules Committee meeting.
c) Two thirds of the majority party must approve the dismissal of the Majority Floor Leader.
d) Two thirds of the full membership must approve the removal of the Speaker of the House.
e) Caucus time for removal discussion must not exceed 10 minutes.
7-7. Procedures for Removal of the Minority Floor Leader.
a) A petition stating the grounds for removal must be signed by one third of the minority party members and submitted to the Chairman of the Rules Committee.
b) The Rules Committee must rule as to whether or not grounds for dismissal are acceptable.
c) Two thirds of the minority party must approve the dismissal of the Majority Floor Leader.
e) Caucus time for removal discussion must not exceed 10 minutes.
7-8. Procedures for removal of Committee Chairman.
a) A petition stating the grounds for removal must be signed by one third of the committee members and submitted to the Chairman of the Rules Committee.
b) The Rules Committee must rule as to whether or not grounds for dismissal are acceptable.
c) Two thirds of the committee members must approve the dismissal of the Committee Chairman.
e) Caucus time for removal discussion must not exceed 10 minutes.