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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Revenue

Senate Contact

24 Beacon St. 
Room 519
Boston, MA 02133
Phone:
(617) 722-1200

House Contact

24 Beacon St. 
Room 34
Boston, MA 02133
Phone:
(617) 722-2320

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joint Committee on Revenue
Massachusetts General Court
State House, Room 34, Boston, MA
617-722-2320

Jay R. Kaufman 
House Chair
Room 34
617-722-2320
Michael D. Brady
Senate Chair
Room 109E
617-722-1200

Dear Clerks:

Attached please find the Rules for the Joint Committee on Revenue for the 2017-2018 Session. As required by Joint Rule 1, each standing joint committee shall adopt rules of procedure regarding the conduct of said committee. Said rules of procedure shall be filed with the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House and shall be available to the public and members of the General Court.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON REVENUE
Committee Rules
2017-2018

 

Public Hearings

  1. All bills assigned to the Joint Committee on Revenue shall be scheduled for a public hearing, except as herein provided. The Senate and House Chairs (“the Chairs”) may, however, agree to discharge bills inappropriately assigned to the Committee.
  2. The Chairs shall agree between themselves who shall chair each hearing. In the absence of both Chairs, a Vice Chair or a Committee member designated by a Chair shall conduct hearings.
  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 Chairs shall be responsible for determining the schedule for all public hearings and executive sessions and for determining the agenda for each public hearing and executive session. Petitions shall be heard in the sequence appearing on the Committee hearing calendar. Whenever possible, petitions involving similar subject matter may be heard as a group.
  5. The Chairs may create subcommittees as they deem necessary and convenient and appoint the chairs and members of each subcommittee. Any such subcommittee may make such investigation or exercise such authority as is delegated to it by the Chairs.
  6. No one shall be allowed to speak at any meeting without first being recognized by the Chair. The Chair may limit oral testimony to three minutes per individual. Members of the Committee shall be recognized by the Chair before asking questions to witnesses before the Committee, and such questions shall be pertinent to the subject matter before the Committee. The Chair may limit the number of questions and the amount of question time allowed each member.
  7. Each member of the Committee shall receive a schedule of the public hearings on legislation referred to the Committee. The schedule shall group legislation by category, when possible, noting the hearing date, time and location. Each member of the Committee shall be given adequate advance notice of any public hearing. Adequate advance notice shall mean at least 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
  8. The use of electronic recording devices at a Committee hearing is permitted but may be disallowed at the Chairs’ discretion. Hearings may be videotaped by the Legislature’s broadcast service at the request of the Chairs.
  9. All testimony offered before the Committee shall be directly germane to the particular matter then before the Committee, and any member present may object to the hearing of testimony on the grounds that it is not directly germane to the particular matter then before the Committee. The Chair shall rule on said objection and this decision shall stand.Those testifying on proposed changes to the Massachusetts tax laws should be prepared to provide a clear accounting of the anticipated costs and benefits of the proposed change.
  10. At the discretion of the Chair, members of the General Court or other officers of the Commonwealth may be taken out of turn, but, out of respect for the public in attendance, members and officers may be asked to limit their remarks to three minutes and, to the extent possible, contact the Chair in advance of the hearing to schedule a time certain to appear before the Committee so that interruptions of public testimony shall be as brief as possible. However, the privilege to be taken out of turn extends only to members of the General Court or officers of the Commonwealth; members or officers wishing to testify jointly with members of the public shall be treated as members of the general public and be called to testify in the order in which they signed up. The Chair may set aside the first thirty minutes of each hearing for public testimony only; this shall be noted on the public notice of hearings.

Executive Session

  1. Executive sessions may be scheduled after each public hearing or 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 adequate advance notice of the date, time, place and subject of such executive session in accordance with Joint Rule 1D.  Adequate advance notice shall mean at least 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. When an electronic or telephonic poll is conducted in lieu of an executive session pursuant to Rule 11, adequate notice shall mean allotting at least 24 hours to respond to said poll, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
  2. Executive sessions shall not be held in the absence of either Chair, except by mutual agreement of the Chairs. The Chairs shall agree between themselves who shall chair each executive session and the Chair presiding shall 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 shall, after opening the floor for discussion among Committee members on said bill, 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. 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 or abstaining from the Committee recommendation, provided that the Chairs have been informed of this desire by the end of the executive session.
  8. At the request of either Chair in attendance at an executive session, a poll recording the vote of Committee members shall be taken to determine the recommendation of the Committee on any specific petition. The members of the Committee shall vote upon such petition in accordance with Rule 5. In the event that a poll is taken, the Chairs shall notify the State House office of each absent member that he/she may indicate his/her vote on the legislation.
  9. Action to be taken by the Committee on any bill may be reconsidered upon a motion by not less than two Committee members before the executive session during which the vote to take action or no action on the subject bill is closed. Such motion, upon being made and seconded, shall void the initial vote on the subject bill and cause the bill to be reconsidered during a future executive session in accordance with Rules 4, 5 and 6. Action voted to be taken on any bill shall be reconsidered not more than once.
  10. A report shall be made to the branch in which the matter was originally introduced, unless the Chairs agree otherwise, but reports on money bills shall be made to the House.
  11. The Committee shall only take action on a bill via executive session, except as provided herein.  In lieu of an executive session, the Chairs, by mutual agreement, may conduct an electronic or telephonic poll of each Committee member to determine the recommendation of the Committee on a petition.  Members shall be allotted at least 24 hours to record their votes in response to a poll. A majority of the members participating in the poll shall constitute the recommendations of the Committee.
  12. The records of all votes taken in accordance with Rules 4, 5 and 6 shall be kept in the offices of the Committee for the duration of the General Court during which said vote was recorded, and shall be available for public inspection upon reasonable notice and during regular office hours.

Adoptions, Amendments, and Suspensions

  1. These rules shall be adopted by a majority vote of Committee members of each branch present and voting.
  2. Once adopted, these rules may be amended by two-thirds vote of Committee members of each branch present and voting.
  3.  Any rule may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of Committee members of each branch present and voting.
  4. The Chairs shall have wide latitude in the enforcement of these rules and the conduct of these obligations.