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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture

Senate Contact

24 Beacon St. 
Room 513
Boston, MA 02133
Phone:
(617) 722-1540

House Contact

24 Beacon St. 
Room 473F
Boston, MA 02133
Phone:
(617) 722-2210

The General Court of Massachusetts
JOINT COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
STATE HOUSE ROOM 473F
BOSTON 02133-1053

ANNE M. GOBI

GAILANNE M. CARIDDI

Senate Chair

House Chair

COMMITTEE RULES
 2017 - 2018

A. Public Hearings

  1.  All bills assigned to the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture 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. The Committee before discharging an initially assigned bill to another joint committee for consideration, may hold a public hearing on the bill. A poll may be conducted on a bill that has not had a public hearing upon mutual agreement by the Committee Chairs.
  2. The Senate Chair and House Chair shall agree between themselves who will chair each public hearing.  In the absence of both Chairpersons, the Vice Chair present or a Committee member designated by a Chair shall conduct the public hearing.
  3. All Persons testifying before the Committee shall furnish the following information to the Committee:

    A) Name
    B) Organization
    C) Address
    D) Telephone number
    E) Bill number and subject matter on which the person is testifying
    F) Whether proponent or opponent of the subject matter or bill.

  4. The presiding Chair or designated Committee member presiding, when conducting any public hearing (hereafter “the Chair”), shall use his or her discretion in scheduling the order in which proposals or other matters shall be heard at any such public hearing of the Committee.
  5. No one shall be allowed to speak at any public hearing without first being recognized by the Chair.  The Chair shall use discretion in setting a time limit for oral testimony.  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.
  6. Each member of the Committee will receive, electronically, a schedule of the public hearings, on legislation referred to the Committee and on any proposed bill or other form of legislation by the Committee not founded on petition pursuant to Joint Rule 3A. The schedule will group legislation by category, noting the hearing date, time and location.  Additionally, each member of the Committee will receive, electronically, a schedule of any oversight hearings by the Committee, including the subject, date, time and location of such public hearings. Each member of the Committee will be notified electronically of any public hearing or executive session at least 48 hours prior to the meeting date.
B. Executive Sessions
  1. Executive sessions may be scheduled after each public hearing and at other appropriate times as determined by both Committee 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 advance notice (Part A, Par.6) 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 Committee Chairs shall agree, who, between them, will be the presiding Chairperson for any executive session. The Committee 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. A majority vote of the members present at the executive session shall constitute the recommendations of the Committee.
  5. Any member of the Committee present at the executive session shall have the right to be recorded as dissenting from or abstaining from the Committee recommendation provided that the Committee Chair presiding has been informed of this desire by the end of the executive session.
  6. 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 roll call vote of the Committee members in attendance shall be taken to determine the recommendation of the Committee on any specific legislation matter before said Committee.
  7. Whenever an electronic poll is to be taken, the Committee members shall be notified electronically 48 hours in advance, with the date, time and subject matter, of such poll; and, the Committee members shall be given at least 24 hours to respond to an electronic poll. The votes of the majority responding to an electronic poll shall constitute the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee Chairs shall determine the form of any electronic poll and may waive any notice requirement and time limit for Committee members to respond to any such poll.
  8. The Committee Chairs shall determine the branch of the Legislature to which a report or redraft shall be sent.
  9. Records of all recorded votes or polls shall be maintained in the Committee offices pursuant to Joint Rule 1D and Joint Rule 4. 
C. Adoptions, Amendments and Suspensions
  1. These rules shall be adopted by a majority vote of Committee members so voting.
  2. Except for the rules in Part B, Par.2, and this Part C, any other rule may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of Committee members present and voting.
  3. The rules of the Committee may be amended by a two-thirds vote of Committee members present and voting. Any vote to amend the rules of the Committee shall be scheduled and held only upon the agreement of both Committee Chairs.