Senate Contact24 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02133
House Contact24 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02133
JOINT COMMITTEE ON EXPORT DEVELOPMENT
Rules of Operation for the
2017-2018 Legislative Session
- The House and Senate chairs of the committee shall alternate in presiding over the public hearings and executive sessions in a manner agreed to by the two chairs; provided that reasonable effort is made that each chair shall preside over an equal number of public hearings and executive sessions.
- In the absence of both chairs at a hearing, that hearing shall be conducted by the House or Senate vice-chair present or a committee member designated by the presiding chair.
- Except in an emergency, a notice of each meeting of the committee, including executive sessions, shall be sent to all committee members at least 48 hours prior to the time of such meeting.
- The chairs shall establish a public hearing schedule and agenda through mutual agreement. For the purpose of expediting the hearing process, groups of similar bills shall be called together.
- The committee shall maintain accurate records of its meetings setting forth the date, time, place, roll calls and actions taken, if any.
- The committee shall hold all meetings in accordance with the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives.
- If either chair is unable to perform the duties of the chair, or in the case of a chair vacancy, the vice-chair shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the chair as relates to hearings and executive sessions until such time as the chair is able to discharge his or her duties.
- All persons giving testimony before the committee may be required to furnish the following information to committee staff: (a) whether the person is testifying as an individual or part of a panel; (b) name; (c) organization and group represented, if any; (d) contact information; (e) bill number and subject matter on which the person is testifying; and (f) whether the person is testifying as an opponent or proponent of the bill.
- Oral testimony shall be received in the order posted on each hearing sheet unless the presiding chair determines that circumstances warrant a change in such order. Elected or public officials may be recognized out of order subject to the determination of the chair. No person may, without the permission of the presiding chair, read from prepared remarks. Committee staff shall distribute any materials to members of the committee when presented. The presiding chair shall make special provisions regarding the application of this provision for persons with disabilities.
- The presiding chair shall use discretion in limiting the amount of time allotted for testimony and may limit the number of questions allowed each member. All questions put to witnesses before the committee shall be pertinent to the subject matter at hand. No one shall be allowed to speak at any meeting without first being recognized by the presiding chair. Before concluding the public hearing, the presiding chair shall make a final call for all persons who wish to testify. Any person who wishes to submit testimony may be required to furnish the following information to committee staff before testifying: (a) whether the person is testifying as an individual or part of a panel; (b) name; (c) organization and group represented, if any; (d) contact information; (e) bill number and subject matter on which the person is testifying; and (f) whether the person is testifying as an opponent or proponent of the bill.
- All cell phones and pagers must be turned off or silenced during hearings and executive sessions. The chairs must be notified in advance and may approve the use of electronic recording devices at a public hearing or executive session.
- Executive sessions of the committee may be scheduled by the chairs at appropriate times. Unless waived pursuant to a joint agreement by the chairs, no executive session of the committee shall proceed unless both chairs are present.
- The Senate and House chair shall make a recommendation for each petition to be considered during the executive session.
- Unless a committee member in attendance at an executive session moves that a poll be taken on a petition under consideration and the motion is seconded and carried by a majority of those voting, a majority vote of the members present and voting shall constitute the recommendation of the committee.
- If such a poll is requested, each member shall be so polled, in the manner prescribed by the chairs, to determine the committee’s recommendation. A majority of members participating in the poll is required to establish the will of the committee. Only those votes received prior to the deadline set by the chairs shall be included in the tally. In the event of a tie vote, the petition shall remain in committee and the Senate or House chair, seconded by another committee member, may move to take up the matter at a later executive session.
- Executive sessions may be waived by the chairs on any matter referred to the committee. In any such instance, a poll of the members shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by and agreed to by both chairs, in order to determine the committee’s recommendation.
- The chairs may use electronic forms of communication, including but not limited to electronic mail, to distribute committee information including, but not limited to, bill summaries, polls, and other related materials.
- When petitions are being referred either favorably or to a study commission by the committee, any petition filed in the Senate shall be included in an order filed with the Senate and any petition filed in the House shall be included in an order filed with the House.