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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Financial Services

Joint Committee on Financial Services
State House, Room 254, Boston, MA
(617) 722-2220


Anthony Petruccelli   Michael A. Costello
Senate Chair
  House Chair

Committee Rules for 2013-2014


  1. Public Hearings
    1.  All bills assigned to the Joint Committee on Financial Services shall be scheduled for a public hearing by the Committee Chairs except as herein provided. Upon mutual agreement, the Committee Chairs may agree to discharge bills assigned to the Committee or otherwise dispose of bills assigned to the Committee by electronic or voice poll.
    2. The Senate Chair and House Chair shall agree between themselves who will chair each hearing. In the absence of both Chairpersons, the Vice Chair from the Senate or House shall chair the hearing. In the absence of both Vice-Chairs, a Committee member designated by a Chair shall conduct the hearing.
    3. All Persons testifying before the Committee shall furnish the following information to the Committee:
    4. A) Name
      B) Organization – if applicable
      C) Address
      D) Telephone number
      E) Email address – if applicable
      F) Bill number and subject matter on which the person is testifying
      G) Whether proponent or opponent of the subject matter or bill

    5. All persons intending to submit written testimony to the committee shall furnish copies of such written testimony to committee staff.
    6. The presiding Chair, or acting presiding member (hereafter “the Chair”), shall use his or her discretion in scheduling the order in which proposals shall be heard at any public hearing or executive session of the Committee.
    7. No one shall be allowed to speak at any hearing without first being recognized by the Chair. The testimony of any witness shall be limited to three minutes and shall be pertinent to the subject matter before the committee. The Chair, at his/her discretion, may extend the length of oral testimony for any witness. All questions by members of the Committee to persons testifying before the Committee shall be addressed through the Chair and shall be pertinent to the subject matter before the Committee. The Chair may limit the number of questions and the amount of questions and time allowed each member after giving due consideration to the importance of the subject matter, the number of petitions scheduled for a hearing, and the length of time available.
    8. Each member of the committee will receive, electronically, a schedule of the public hearings on legislation referred to the committee. The schedule will group legislation by category, noting the hearing date, time and location. Each member of the committee shall be given adequate notice of any public hearing or executive session.
    9. Public hearings may be held in the absence of a quorum.
    10. As far as is practical, the Chair shall give priority to members of the General Court, the Judiciary, and the Executive Branch who wish to testify before the committee.
  2. Executive Session
    1. Executive sessions may be scheduled after each public hearing and at other appropriate times as determined by the Chairs. Whenever an executive session is held at a time other than on the day of a public hearing, each member of the Committee shall be furnished with adequate notice of the date, time, place and subject of such executive session.
    2. No executive session may be held in the absence of either Committee Chair, except by mutual agreement of both Chairs. The Chair presiding will have general supervision of the executive session. Both Chairs must consent to the agenda of the executive session, and if a bill is pulled from that day’s hearing list to be placed on the agenda of that day’s executive session, then both Chairs must consent to this action. 
    3. All executive sessions of the Committee shall be open to the public unless the Committee, in accordance with Joint Rule 1A, votes to close such sessions.
    4. Executive sessions may be held in the absence of a quorum.
    5. A majority vote of the members present at the executive session shall constitute the recommendations of the Committee.
    6. Any member of the Committee shall have the right to be recorded as dissenting from or abstaining from the Committee recommendation provided that the Committee Chairs have been informed of this desire by the end of the executive session.
    7. Upon a motion made by any member of the Committee in attendance at an executive session and seconded by another member of the Committee in attendance, a poll of the full Committee shall be taken to determine the recommendation of the full Committee on any specific matter before said Committee.  In the event that a poll is taken, the members shall be given adequate time to respond to the poll. The votes of the majority of those members responding to the poll shall constitute the recommendation of the committee.  All records of polls shall be recorded and kept in the Committee for the duration of the legislative session, and be available for inspection after the voting is completed.
    8. At the request of any member of the committee, a motion for reconsideration of an executive session recommendation may be made. Written notice that such motion will be made must be given within 24 hours of a committee’s decision on said matter. Such motion shall be taken up at the next executive session, provided that only one such motion for reconsideration shall be permitted for any petition.
    9. The Committee Chairs shall determine the branch of the Legislature to which a report or redraft shall be sent.
    10. Executive sessions may be waived by the Chairs on petitions referred to the committee after Joint Rule 10 has gone into effect, and on any matter retained by the committee after said rule has gone into effect, pursuant to extension orders adopted in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In any such instance, a poll of the members shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by the mutual agreement of the Chairs in order to determine the committee’s recommendation.
  3. Adoptions and Suspensions
    1. These rules shall be adopted by a majority vote of Committee members present and voting.
    2. Except for Part B, #2, any rule may be suspended by a majority vote of Committee members present and voting.