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May 22, 2024 Clouds | 88°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure 190th (2017 - 2018)


Committee Rules of Procedure for the 190th General Court
As required by Joint Rule 1

  1. Public Hearings
    1. All matters referred to the Committee in each legislative session shall be given a public hearing. The Chairs shall use their discretion in scheduling the order of petitions to be heard at any public hearing or executive session of the Committee. Whenever possible, petitions involving a similar subject matter may be heard as a group and petitions shall be heard in the sequence appearing on the Committee hearing calendar.
    2. The Senate Chair and House Chair shall agree between themselves who will chair each hearing; provided reasonable efforts are made such that each Co-Chair shall preside over an equal number of public hearings. In the absence of both  Chairwomen, the Chairs shall agree upon a Vice Chair or a Committee member to preside over the hearing.
    3. All persons testifying before the Committee shall furnish the following information to the Committee:

                a) Name
                b) Organization & Occupation
                c) Address                  
                d) Telephone number
                e) Email Address
                f) Bill number and subject matter on which the person is testifying
                g) Whether proponent or opponent of the subject matter or bill.

    1. The presiding Chair, or acting presiding member (hereafter “the Chair”) shall have general supervision of all matters before the committee, and use his or her discretion as it relates to the order in which proposals shall be heard at any public hearing or executive session of the Committee.
    2. While ensuring that every person who wishes to testify may do so, no one shall be allowed to speak at any meeting without first being recognized by the Chair. The Chair shall limit oral testimony to three
      minutes per individual. All questions by members of the Committee to       
      witnesses 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 time for questioning allowed to each member.
    3. Each member of the committee will receive 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 will be notified of any public hearing or executive session. The hearing date, time, and location are subject to amendment by mutual agreement of the chairs.
    4. Prior to the start of a hearing, the Chairs must be notified and mutually approve of the use of electronic recording devices at a committee hearing. Hearings may be videotaped by the Legislature’s television service at the request of the Chairs.
    5. The presiding Chair may permit members of the General Court, other elected officials and appointed government officials to testify out-of-turn on any matter before the Committee. The presiding Chair shall use discretion in allotting the amount of time for the out-of-turn testimony of said elected and appointed official.
    6. Prior to the conclusion of the public hearing, the presiding Chair shall make a final call for all persons who wish to testify.
    7. Public hearings may be held in the absence of a quorum.
  2. Executive Session and Polls
    1. Executive sessions may be scheduled after each public hearing and at other appropriate times. 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 48 hours advance notice of the date, time, place and subject of such executive session in accordance with rule 6 of section A.
    2. No executive session may be held in the absence of either Committee Chair, except by mutual agreement of both Chairs, and no bill may be considered at an executive session except by agreement of both chairs. The Chair presiding will have general supervision of the executive session.
    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. The presiding Chair shall announce the bill for consideration by number and title, and a summary may be provided by staff.  After opening the floor for discussion among Committee members on said bill, the presiding Chair shall make, or request to be made, a motion to take a particular action or no action on said bill. Upon a second motion to take the same action or no action, a vote on said motions shall be taken forthwith.
    5. The members of the Committee shall vote upon each petition by choosing one of the following recommendations: a) Ought to pass; b) Ought to pass with amendments; c) Ought not to pass; d) Discharge to another Committee; e) Held for further consideration; f) Ordered to Study. 
    6. Executive sessions may be held in the absence of a quorum, and a majority vote of the members present at the executive session shall constitute the recommendations of the Committee.
    7. Any member of the Committee shall have the right to be listed 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.
    8. In lieu of an executive session, the Committee Chairs, by mutual agreement, may poll the Committee members to determine the recommendation of the Committee on any specific action. Such poll shall be conducted at the direction of the Committee Chairs. A reasonable amount of time, as jointly determined by the Committee Chairs, shall be given for Committee members to record their votes, and the Committee members shall be notified of the subject matter involved and the deadline for responding to the poll. Polls may be conducted in person or electronically via electronic mail or telephone.
    9.  No motion to reconsider shall be entertained.
    10. In order to take action on any bill, the Committee must, upon approval from both Chairs, hold either an executive session or conduct a poll of the members.  The committee members shall be given at least 24 hours to record their votes and the deadline for recording votes shall be announced to each member. All votes received at the executive session or prior to the closing of the poll shall be recorded on the appropriate form and the record of all such roll calls shall be kept in the offices of the Committee and shall be available for public inspection.
    11. A vote of the committee shall be conducted by a roll call upon request of two committee members present at the committee meeting.
  3. Adoptions, Amendments, and Suspensions
    1. These rules shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Senate members present and voting, and a majority of the House members present and voting.
    2. Once adopted, these rules may be amended by two-thirds vote of the Senate members present and voting, and a two-thirds majority of the House members present and voting.
    3.  Any rule may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of Senate members present and voting, and a two-thirds vote of House Members present and voting.
    4. The Co-Chairs shall have wide latitude in the enforcement of these rules in the conduct of these obligations.
    5. As provided in the Joint Rules the Committee Chairs may together initiate and form subcommittees regarding the subject matter of any legislative matter or any other subject matter under the jurisdiction of the committee.  Such subcommittee shall make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Committee Chairs prior to the end of the biennium or at a date to be determined by the Committee Chairs.