Bill Summary for H 1044 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Apr 28 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1044 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Intro. by Lewis.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses.

Makes the following changes to the 2019 House Permanent Rules, House Resolution 16, as a result of the public health dangers resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amends Rule 1 to provide that the House will convene at 10:00 A.M. on the next legislative day if the House adjourns without having fixed an hour for reconvening. Removes evening hour limitations on session.

Amends Rule 2 to require the Sergeant-at-Arms or the Principal Clerk (currently, only the Sergeant-at-Arms) to clear the House 10 minutes before the convening hour (currently, no time period is specified). Removes requirements for the Speaker to have session begin with prayer and for the Speaker or his or her designee to lead members in the Pledge of Allegiance. Makes conforming changes to Rule 4(b).

Rewrites Rule 3(b) to require the Clerk to open an electronic roll call and enter as present any member responding by vote in the event the point of quorum is raised. Requires the time allowed for response to be the greater of 40 minutes, unless the Chair directs otherwise without objection, or the time at which the sixty-first vote is recorded. Limits action to recess or adjournment in the absence of a quorum. Removes provisions regarding compelling member attendance.

Amends Rule 7(a) to set forth the procedure for when any member has designated a Leader to case the member's vote and desires to propound a question. Requires the member to submit the question to the Majority or Minority Leader to have the question brought forward.

Adds to Rule 8.1 to require Representative Statements to be read following session only.

Adds to Rule 12(i) to allow the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader to use electronic technology to communicate in real time with members who have filed a voting designation pursuant to Rule 22.1, so long as the use does not otherwise disrupt chamber decorum. Additionally, adds new Rule 12(k) to allow the chamber to be used for committees and committee purposes as deemed necessary by the Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

Adds to Rule 13(a) to prohibit any motion from being made or any business from being presented by a member who has filed a voting designation pursuant to Rule 22.1 affirming the member will not be present in the House during the time the designation is in effect and has not been revoked.

Amends Rule 15(a) to no longer require a motion to adjourn to be seconded.

Amends Rule 15.1 to include the receiving of petitions, memorials, and papers addressed to the House in a motion to adjourn or stand in recess subject to the standard stipulations. 

Amends Rule 20(c) to allow 40 minutes, rather than 15 seconds, for electronic voting, unless the Chair directs otherwise without objection (currently, does not provide for objection to other direction by the Chair). Adds that the Chair can direct a procedure whereby members vote at designated times within the time allowed for voting.

Adds new Rule 22.1 to allow a member who is not present to designate either the Majority or Minority Leader to cast the member's vote if the following three requirements are met: a voting designation is filed that identifies the member's voting designee and a commencement and expiration date with the Clerk, Leaders cast designated voted after at least 61 members have voted in the chamber when the question is put, and at least three hours have elapsed from the time the bill to be voted on was placed on the calendar. Allows for designated Leaders to appoint another member to cast all designated votes in the event of the designated Leader's excused absence. Provides for the form and content of any designation or appointment. Makes conforming changes to Rule 22(b).

Amends Rule 26(f) to allow the Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House; the Speaker Pro Tempore; the Majority Leader; and the Deputy Majority Leader to be who are serving as ex officio members to be counted among the membership of the committee or subcommittee for purposes of determining quorum when participating remotely pursuant to Rule 28(a) (currently, only when present). Additionally, provides that a committee member who is participating remotely under Rule 28(a) must be counted as present for quorum purposes.

Adds to Rule 28(a) to allow committees to conduct remote meetings if three requirements are met: (1) each member is able to communicate in real time with all other members by either in-person communication, remote communication using devices or programs that transmit audio or audio and video, or both; (2) all documents considered by the committee are provided to members; and (3) the committee otherwise complies with GS 143-318.13(a), concerning public access to electronic meetings.

Amends Rule 30 to prohibit forming a Committee of the Whole House, without exception (currently, permitted with leave of the House).

Amends Rule 31(a) to require all bills and resolutions to be introduced to be submitted to the Principal Clerk's office using the electronic dashboard only. Changes the daily submission deadlines to require submission by 3:00 P.M. or 30 minutes after adjournment of a session later than 3:00 P.M. in order to be read a first time on that legislative day (currently, provides for the 30-minute-post-adjournment rule on Monday and 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).

Allows for a resolution or bill to be placed on the calendar without committee referral on the same legislative day of its introduction or receipt from the Senate, so long as at least three hours have elapsed from the time it is placed on the calendar and the time the question is put to a vote.

Repeals Rule 32(e), which requires all public bills and resolutions reported by a standing committee or a permanent subcommittee to be reported by the House Standing Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House before being calendared.

Rewrites Rule 34(b) to allow a bill to be filed without the signature of each member who appears on the pre-printed bill jacket as a primary sponsor if each such member has approved being included as a primary sponsor using the member's electronic dashboard (currently, sponsor signatures are required on the jacket).

Allows for a bill reported favorably by a committee or received for concurrence to be placed on the favorable calendar on the same day it is reported. Requires the Speaker to provide notice as soon as practicable to the Majority and Minority Leaders if the Speaker anticipates this situation.

No longer requires a proposed committee substitute to be distributed electronically to committee members on the preceding calendar day in order to be considered by the committee.

Amends Rule 39(a) to allow members to submit a discharge petition or submit their name to be added to the petition by submitting an email so indicating with the office of the Principal Clerk (currently, requires signing the petition in the Principal Clerk's office).

Requires first reading and reference to a standing committee of House bills on the legislative day of their introduction, and of Senate bills on the legislative day of their receipt on messages from the Senate. Requires the Speaker to give notice at each subsequent reading whether it is second or third reading. Allows for all bills to be read more than once on the same day, except for revenue bills.

Allows for conference reports to be place on the calendar of the legislative day on which the report is received. Requires the Speaker to provide notice to the Majority and Minority Leaders if the Speaker anticipates this situation.

Rewrites Rule 52 to close the galleries to the public. Allows members and reporters to be seated in designated areas of the gallery (currently, Rule 52 provides for courtesies of the gallery).

Allows for any member to cosponsor a bill or resolution that has been introduced on the day during which the bill or resolution was first read and referred, so long as the bill or resolution remains in the possession of the House.

Adds new Rule 61.3 to require a modification to the 2019 House Permanent Rules, as described in the act, to expire at midnight on any day a written objection is submitted by the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader. Provides for the form and content of the objection to be considered effective, including receipt by the Principal Clerk on either May 4, 2020, May 11, 2020, or May 18, 2020; provision of copies to the Speaker on the same day as submission to the Clerk; and reading of the objection into the record if the House is in session on the day the objection is filed, or the next legislative day following submission of the objection if the House is not in session.

Expires on the earlier of May 31, 2020, or an objection submitted pursuant to Rule 61.3.