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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure
State House, Boston 02133


Thomas P. Kennedy   John W. Scibak
Senate Chair
Room 109E
(617) 722-1200
  House Chair
Room 43
(617) 722-2030

Committee Rules for 2013-2014


  • General Rules For Public Hearings:
    1. The co-chairmen of the Committee shall alternate in presiding over the public hearings and executive sessions in a manner agreed to by the two co-chairmen; provided, that reasonable effort is made that each co-chairman shall preside over an equal number of public hearings.  In the absence of both Chairmen, the hearing shall be conducted by either the Vice-Chairman or both; provided, that both chairmen agree by mutual consent to do so.
    2. The co-chairmen of the Committee shall be responsible for providing to the Committee members, prior to a public hearing or executive session, a synopsis of all legislative documents which are the subject of such public hearing or executive session.  The co-chairmen shall ensure that copies of the legislative documents subject to public hearing on a given day are made available to the Committee members.
    3. For the purpose of expediting the hearing process, groups of similar bills shall be called together, and bills shall be called for hearing in numerical sequence within such group, Senate numbers first or in a sequence of the chairman’s choosing.  The co-chairmen shall establish a public hearing schedule and shall determine the groupings of similar bills to be heard on each hearing date.
    4. At each public hearing, oral testimony shall be received in the order posted on each hearing sheet.  No person may, without the permission of the chairman presiding over the public hearing, read from prepared remarks.  The chairman presiding over the public hearing shall distribute any prepared remarks to all members of the Committee when presented.  The presiding chairman shall make special provisions regarding the application of this provision for persons with disabilities.
    5. Legislators and other government officials may testify out of turn on any matter before the Committee at that session at the beginning of the hearing.  The presiding chairman shall use discretion in limiting the amount of time for a legislator so testifying. 
    6. The chairman at his/her discretion may limit the time of testimony by witnesses before the Committee after giving due consideration to the importance of the subject matter, the number of petitions scheduled for hearing, and the length of time available. 
    7. Before concluding the public hearing, the presiding chairman shall make a final call for all persons who wish to testify.
    8. Both chairmen must be notified beforehand of any intended use of electronic recording devices at a Committee hearing, and he/she, in turn, must notify members of the Committee that such devices will be used during a public hearing.
    9. The chairman shall have general supervision of all hearings before the Committee.

  • General Rules for Executive Sessions
    1. Executive sessions of the Committee shall be called by the co-chairmen in the usual manner.  An executive session may be held after a public hearing.  Each Committee member shall receive adequate notice of the executive session.  Unless waived pursuant to a joint agreement by the co-chairmen, no executive session of the Committee shall proceed unless both co-chairmen are present.  The Committee shall hold executive sessions in accordance with the Joint Rules adopted by both branches.
    2. Both Chairmen must be notified beforehand of any intended use of electronic recording devices at an executive session, and he/she, in turn, must notify members of the Committee that such devices will be used during executive session.
    3. At the request of any member of the Committee in attendance at an executive session, or at the request of either chairman, a poll of each Committee member shall be taken to determine the recommendation/report of the Committee on any specific legislative petition or motion.  The chairmen by mutual agreement shall set the length of time of when the poll begins and ends.

  • Other Provisions:
    1. The co-chairmen shall be responsible to the Committee for the administration of Committee work and the orderly conduct of public hearings, meetings, and executive sessions.
    2. The co-chairmen shall have wide latitude in the enforcement of these rules in the conduct of these obligations.
    3. In the absence of any other rules then the Joint Rules adopted by both branches shall control.