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Part II.  Custom, Usage, and Practice in the Louisiana House of Representatives

This list was compiled for, presented to, and approved by the Committee on House & Governmental Affairs pursuant to House Resolution No. 5 of the 2006 Second Extraordinary Session.  This list is illustrative of the customs, usages, and practices of the House of Representatives and is not intended to be an exclusive list of all the customs, usages, and practices of the House of Representatives. (See, House Rule 13.3)


No member except the author/handler can move a bill through Order. (See, Rule 8.26A)


Author can always return his bill to the calendar without an objection being recognized. (See, Rule 8.26)


Member can withdraw his bill at any time without an objection being recognized. (See, Mason’s section 727)


House allows author to file amendments as late as opening remarks and still have them considered first. (See, Rule 11.3)


House allows author to withdraw an amendment without an objection being recognized. (See, Mason’s section 403(1))


Once offered, the House allows author to withdraw and resubmit amendments without an objection being recognized. (See, Mason’s section 403(3))


House does not recognize amendments in the second degree, that is amendments to pending amendments. (See, Mason’s section 408)


Members use personal privilege for purely personal explanation and information purposes. (See, Mason’s sections 222 - 224)


House does not table Senate Bills. The motion the House recognizes is to “indefinitely postpone.”


A committee will generally schedule any member’s bill such member so requests. (See, Rule 6.10)


Members change their votes without question by the body. (See, Rule 10.8)


House does not question germaneness of committee amendments. (See, Rule 11.1)


Speaker does not rule on germaneness absent a challenge.


Speaker does not rule on germaneness of Senate amendments. (See, Mason’s section 766)


Questions of constitutionality are left to the Courts, but for constitutional limits on legislative procedures, i.e. vote required for final passage.


House does not question Speaker’s interpretation of constitutional requirements for passage of bills.


Members present in the chamber can have the Clerk vote their machine without public announcement. (See, Rule 10.3)


For bills on which many members desire to participate in debate, the House limits debate: 10 minutes to open, 5 minutes per speaker, 5 minutes to close by adopting a rules suspension referred to as the “5 Minute Rule”. [At one time referred to as the “Ensminger Rule”] (See, Rule 5.7)


Bills returned to the calendar may be called from the calendar on the same legislative day without prior notice to the House. (See, Rule 8.26)


Calling bills returned to calendar from the “to be called” list requires Speaker’s prior consent. (See, Rule 8.26)


House does not read the journal in full every legislative day. (See, Rule 12.5)


Speaker/Clerk properly state motions to accomplish member’s intent. (See, Rule 9.1)


Committees do amendments “in concept” - floor amendments are not offered “in concept”. (See, Rule 11.4)


By invitation, a visitor can sit with a member on the north side of the Chamber. (See, Rule 1.2[Section A in the diagram of the Chamber])


Votes changed before public release of the printed vote are not announced or recorded in journal. (See, Rule 10.8)


Members do not question an author’s request to reject Senate amendments.


The House and its committees record all members who present themselves at any time of a session day or meeting as having answered the opening roll call. (See, Rule 4.2)


Substitute motions are amendments to the initial motion (See, Rule 9.14A Table), however we use ‘substitute’ to offer a second, alternative motion of the same class or a higher class of motion.


The House allows the deferral of bills on third reading, preserving their precedence for consideration.  This is recorded in the journal as ‘under a suspension of the rules’ however no suspension is stated by the Chair at the time the bill is deferred. (See, Rule 8.8)


House allows the motion to table a pending amendment without that motion carrying the bill to be amended to the table. (See, Mason’s sections 337(1) & (2) & 399)


On motion to direct committee to report, the House does not direct committee how to report, merely that the committee report. (See, Rule 6.13)


Third conferee is appointed to insure that opponents have voice on conference. (See, Rule 6.14)


House recognizes motion to adopt or reject or return or table on conference committee reports. (See, Mason’s section 766)


The House will not notice or consider a conference report signed by fewer than 2 House members or 2 Senators (See, Mason’s section 658)


The House does not recognize the motion to reject as a valid substitute to the motion to adopt a conference report.  The sole effect of such a motion would be to wrest closing from the author or sponsor. (See, Rule 8.27(B))


Committee chairs exercise discretion as to the order in which to consider instruments listed on the agenda. (See, Rules 14.2(5), 14.25(4), and 14.30(A))

Mason's Manual:  Sec. 39

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