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Special Joint Committee on Redistricting Rules of Operation

Massachusetts State Seal

 

 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

Special Joint Committee on Redistricting

MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL COURT

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

 

 

       

STANLEY C. ROSENBERG

Senate Chairman

Hampshire and Franklin District

Room 320

TEL. (617) 722-1532

 

MICHAEL J. MORAN

House Chairman

Eighteenth Suffolk District

Room 443

TEL. (617) 722-2460

2011 SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE ON REDISTRICTING

RULES OF OPERATION

A.     GENERAL RULES FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.    The committee shall give notice of the time, place and agenda of all public hearings not less than 48 hours prior to the time of such meetings. Such notice shall be written or emailed and distributed to the committee members and written or emailed and distributed to the House and Senate clerks.  The 48 hour requirement may be suspended in an emergency by both chairmen, provided reasonable efforts have been made to contact all committee members. 

2.    All public hearings shall be conducted by the Senate chairman or the House chairman according to a schedule established by the chairs.  If the chairman scheduled to preside is unable to do so, the other chairman shall conduct the public hearing

3.    In the absence of, and with the consent of both chairs, the hearing may be conducted by a vice-chairman or other designee of the chairs.

4.    All persons intending to submit written testimony to the committee shall furnish at least 2 copies of such written testimony to the committee not later than the hearing date, unless granted an extension of time by both chairmen.

5.    All persons testifying before the committee shall be requested to furnish the following information to the committee staff: Name, Organization, Address, Email Address, and Telephone Number.  In addition, when testifying, the person testifying shall clearly state their name, and organization if any, at the beginning of the testimony. 

6.    The presiding chairman shall use discretion in scheduling the order of oral testimony at any public hearing. The presiding chairman shall use discretion in limiting the amount of time for any testimony.  The presiding chairman shall make reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities regarding the application of this rule.   Any change in this rule shall require the consent of both chairmen.

B.    CONDUCT OF PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.    The chairmen shall have general supervision of all hearings before the committee.

2.    The presiding chairman may limit the time of questioning for each member after giving due consideration to the importance of the subject matter and the length of time available.

3.    All questions put to witnesses before the committee shall be pertinent to the subject matter before the committee.

C.    EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

1.    Executive sessions or other meetings of the committee shall be called by the co-chairs as necessary.  Notice of executive sessions or other meetings shall be provided under joint rule 1D. Unless waived under a joint agreement by the co-chairmen, no executive session or other meeting of the committee shall proceed unless both co-chairmen are present. 

2.    All executive sessions shall be attended by both the Senate and House chairs, and no executive session may be held in the absence of either chair.  This requirement may be waived by mutual agreement of both chairs.

3.    The committee shall hold executive sessions under the Joint Rules adopted by both branches.  All executive sessions shall be open to the public unless the committee votes to close such session.  During executive sessions that remain open to the public, the public may not comment unless specifically questioned by the presiding chair.

4.    A majority vote of the members present, including the presiding chair, shall constitute the recommendation of the committee.

5.    In lieu of executive session, the Senate and House Chairs, by mutual agreement, may conduct an electronic or telephone poll of each committee member to determine the recommendations of the committee. Members shall be allotted forty-eight hours to record their votes in response to a poll. In the event of an emergency session a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the Chairs, shall be allotted for members to record their votes. Each member shall be notified of the deadline to record such votes. 

D.    ADOPTION, SUSPENSION OR AMENDMENT OF COMMITTEE RULES

1.    Adoption, suspension or amendment of these rules shall be by a majority vote of the committee members present and voting.

E.     CHAIRMAN RESPONSIBILITIES

1.    The chairs shall be responsible to the committee for the administration of committee work and the orderly conduct of public hearings and executive sessions.

2.    The chairmen shall have wide latitude in the enforcement of these rules in the conduct of these obligations.

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