Rules of the House and Senate Chambers
The House and Senate Chambers are used under the permission of the current members and leaders of the actual Maine House of Representatives, and the Maine Senate. This permission is granted on a yearly basis on the understanding that the chamber and offices will be treated with the respect that these chambers command. With this in mind, those who serve in the House and Senate must live up to the following rules of the House and Senate. We ask that you read these to avoid any problems during the weekend session.
Participants are reminded that they are sitting at a Member of the House and Senate workspace. Please show the space the respect you would for any office in the State House. Only Representatives are allowed at the desks on the floor of the House, and Senators are allowed at the desks in the Senate. Those wishing to speak with a member must meet outside of the chamber. Governor’s Cabinet members and Reporters are not allowed to sit on the floor or speak during sessions of the House and Senate. Members are expected to be on the floor for all votes and to vote in all votes called for. You are in the role of an elected representative for people from your area of the state.
When the House and Senate are in session and members are in the Chamber the following apply:
- Appropriate Dress –Must follow the Youth in Government Dress Code
- A single gavel calls the House or Senate to order
- Three gavels require members to stand in their place until a single gavel directs them to take seats
- When the Governor, the Senate, or other dignitaries enter the chamber, the member should rise at three gavels and applaud politely.
- Use of cell phones is prohibited on the floor of the House and Senate,
- Laptops and Tablets are allowed to be used for research.
PROHIBITED ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF SENATE
- Eating, drinking, and gum chewing
- Wearing of or placement on desk any buttons, signs, stickers making a statement of any kind.
- Use of props of any kind
- Reading Newspaper open at desk
- Talking aloud to other members/guest
- Sitting at another member’s desk
- Turning your chair away from the Speaker/President
- Standing in the aisle or at another members desk
ADDRESSING THE HOUSE
- Rise and say in a clear voice “ Mr/Madam (Speaker/President)”
- When the Speaker chooses to let you speak, they will say ”The Chair recognizes the Representative”
- Your microphone will be turned on
- Begin your remarks with…”Thank you Mr / Madam Speaker/President and Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, your name and your school.
- When you are finished with your remarks sit down.
- Requirements of debate, comments must be germane to the question before the body
- During any remarks,
- the Governor and Cabinet members are referred to as the “EXECUTIVE”
- the House or Senate are referred to as the “OTHER BODY”
- Prohibited during debate
- Reference to actions or possible actions of the Governor or the other body
- Reference to motives or actions of another member of the body.
- All matters before the House / Senate are debatable except
Motion to Adjourn, Motion to Table, Suspension of the Rules, other minor procedural motions
- Members may only speak 2 times on any one question unless getting permission by “Suspending the rules”
- If a member has a question of a committee or another member they must say….
“Mr / Madam Speaker/President, I request permission to pose a question through the Chair to Representative/Senator (NAME).
“Mr / Madam Speaker/President, I request permission to pose a question through the Chair to and member of the (NAME) Committee.
“Mr / Madam Speaker/President, I request permission to pose a question through the Chair to anyone may care to answer.
THE SPEAKER WILL RESPOND……. “The Representative/Senator may pose his/her question.”
YOU WOULD RESPOND…”Thank you, my question is………………….?
MOTIONS ON THE FLOOR
- When you wish to make a motion the following is appropriate
- Seek permission from the Speaker/President
- Thank Speaker/President and address the body
- Always begin a motion with “I MOVE THAT……..”
- After the Speaker/President restates your motion you may proceed to debate it
- The Speaker / President will look for the Committee Chair to move the committee report
- If the Chair is not present another member must stand and make a motion on the committee report
- First, you must collect from the Clerk / Secretary an Amendment form, and write out your amendment.
- Get recognized by the Speaker / President
- Thank them
- State your motion, “I present a House/Senate Amendment to Bill LD………, and move its adoption.”
- Give the Amendment form to the Clerk / Secretary and they will read the amendment.
MATTERS OF NON-CONCURRENCE WITH OTHER BODY
- When the House and Senate differ the item is placed in non-concurrent matters
- Only the following motions are available
Recede and Concur----the body will agree with other to make the bill pass.
Insist-----the body would like to ask for a committee of conference to develop a compromise on bill
Adhere---the body will stand by their action
ATTENTION TO ALL PARTICIPANTS
Any damage done to any desk or chair will be paid for
by the participant assigned to that desk