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In prosenting it, he rises in his place, when the name of the county which he represents is called, and says: “Mr. Speaker, I present the petition of inhabitants of -, praying,” &c. He then delivers it to one of the pages, to be handed to the Speaker, who also reads the endorsement, by way of information to the House or Senate, and then refers it to the appropriate committee. The same course is pursued in regard to letters, memorials, &c. Form of Petition.
Form of Bill.
Of Resolutions. In general, the parliamentary meaning of "resolution” is the expression of the will of the House in regard to any subject before it, public or private; as, for example, that the use of the Hall be granted for a particular purpose; that the House will adjourn at a particular time; that certain companies be required to furnish statements, &c. If information is desired from any of the departments, or from the Executive, the resolution assumes the form of a request, as for example: “Resolved, That the Auditor General be requested to furnish the House or Senate with a statement of the amount of money paid by the several banks of this Commonwealth, into the State Treasury, as tax on dividends for the year -" This, however, is indeed but an expression of will; the House, by the resolution, doing nothing more than declaring it to be their will that the Auditor General be requested to furnish the statement.
When a member is desirous of bringing before the House any proposition for its determination, he writes it out in the form of a resolution, in a plain, legible hand, and as soon as the Speaker announces that “Original resulutions are now in order,” he rises in his place and says: “Mr. Speaker, I offer the following resolution.” The Speaker then says: " The gentleman from
offers the follow resolution; the resolution will be réad.” As soon as the Clerk has read it, the Speaker says : “ What order will the House take upon the resolution ?'' Generally the response is, “Second reading.” The Speaker then puts the question, “ Will the House or Senate proceed to the second reading and consideration of the resolution?" If this is decided in the affirmative, the Clerk is directed to read the resolution again, when it is regularly before the House for amendment, adoption or rejection. But no amend ment can be offered to the resolution, or any motion made in regard to it, until it is in possession of the House, which is when the House has agreed to pro. ceed to its second reading. Before that time, it is always in the power of the mover to withdraw it. If the House refuses to proceed to the second roading, the resolution is then considered as rejected for that time, although the mover is not thereby precluded from moving, on the next day, that the House do now proceed to its second reading.
A soon as the House has agreed to proceed to the second reading of the resolution, and it has been read by the Clerk, it is then subject to amendment, and the amendment while under consideration is also subject to amendment; but there can be no amendment of an amendment to an amendment, because this would be an amendment in the third degree, and would tend rather to embarrass than facilitate business. If the resolution contain two or more distinct propositions, it may be divided, and a vote had on each division separately.
Joint resolutions being in the nature of bills, cannot be submitted to the House under the head of original resolutions. The proper time to offer them is under the head of “Bills in place.”
Concurrent resolutions, are those on which the action of both Senate and House are required, but not required to be sent to the Governor for approval ; calling on Heads of Departments, or to alter rules, Tie over one day.
Reading Bills in Place. To prevent confusion, the Speaker calls over the counties alphabetically, and if any member, when his county is called, desires to read a bill in place, he rises, and addressing the Chair, says: “Mr. Speaker, I read in my place and present to the Chair, a bill, entitled” (here he states the title of the bill.) The Speaker says: *“ The gentleman from reads in his place and presents to the Chair, a bill, entitled (here he reads the title;) referred to the committee on
If the member reading the bill in place desires to have the bill referred to a different committee from the one to which the Speaker would otherwise refer it, he must move that it be referred to the committee indicated by him.
The great matter to be attended to under this order is for members to read their bills and present them to the Chair, whenever their counties are announced by the Speaker. It is out of all order for a member, while the House is proceeding to other business, to rise up and say : “Mr. Speaker, I ask leave to read a bill in place at this time.” It seems as though the member was not only negligent in the performance of his own duties, but indifferent to these of others. Regularity in the transaction of legislative business is of the first importance.
The duty of the member reading the bill in place is to endorse on the back, in a plain, legible hand, the title of the bill, his own name, and the name of the county he represents. This will prevent any mistake which might arise from the fact of the
*In the Senate, the President always uses the words, “The Senator,'' &c.
Clerks having to endorse a number of bills each inorning.-(See page 576.)
Action on Bills by Standing Committees. When a bill has been referred to a standing committee for its consideration, by means of bills read in place by a member, the committee, as soon as they have completed the examination, make report of the result of their deliberations to the House, and this report varies according to the circumstances of the case.
Suppose, for example, a member should read in his place a bill, and this bill was, in the usual course of business, referred to the appropriate committee. Should the committee agree to report the bill affirmatively, they would give it in charge of one of their number, to be reported, the secretary first endorsing the name of the member on the back, the name of the committee, and words “as committed." In case the committee made amendments, the secretary would then endorse on the bill the words “with amendments.” If the bill committed to the committee for examination was a Senate bill, and no amendments were made, the secretary would endorse on it the words “as committed,” and if amendments were made, the endorsement would be the same as in the case of a House bill. Similar action should be taken in the Senate committees on House bills.
Amending Bills. Whenever a committee to whom has been referred a bill for their examination make amendments to it, they should be careful to mark them in such a way as to be readily comprehended by the Clerk, and in