Rules of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida

Rules of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida


of the
Legislative Council
of the Territory of Florida
I.The President shall take the Chair every day precisely at the hour, to which the House
shall have adjourned on the preceding day; shall immediately call the members to order; and
on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read.
II.He shall preserve order and decorum; may speak to points of order in preference to
other members, rising from his seat for that purpose; and shall decide questions of order, sub-
ject to an appeal to the House, by any two members, on which appeal no member shall speak
more than once, unless by leave of the House.
III.He shall rise to put the question, but may state it sitting.
IV.No member shall speak to another or otherwise interrupt the business of the Council, or
read any newspaper, while the journals or public papers are reading, or when any member is
speaking in debate.
V.Every member when he speaks, shall address the chair standing in his place, and when
he has finished shall sit down.
VI.No member shall speak more than twice in any one debate on the same day without
leave of the Council.
VII.When two or more members shall rise at the same time, the President shall name the
person entitled to proceed
VIII.When a member shall be called to order he shall sit down until the President shall
IX.If the member be called to order for words spoken, the exceptionable words shall imme-
diately be taken down in writing, that the President may be better enabled to judge of the
X.No member shall absent himself from the service of the Council, without leave of the
President first obtained-and in case a less number than a quorum of the Council shall con-
vene, they are hereby authorised to send the Sergeant-at-Arms, or any other person or per-
sons, by them authorised, for any or all absent members, respectively, unless such excuse
for non-attendance shall be made, as the Council, when a quorum is convened shall judge
XI.No motion shall be debated until the same shall be seconded.
XII.When a motion shall be made and seconded, it shall be reduced to writing, if desired
by the President, or any member, delivered in at the table, and read before the same shall be
XIII.When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on
the table, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to-day certain, to commit, or to amend, which
several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they stand arranged, and the mo-
tion for adjournment shall be in order, and be decided without debate.
XIV.If the question in debate contain several points, any member may have the same
XV.In filling up blanks the largest sum, and longest time shall be first put.
XVI.When the reading of a paper is called for, and the same is objected to by any mem-
ber, it shall be determined by vote of the Council and without debate.
XVII.When the yeas and nays shall be called for by two of the members present, each
member called upon shall, unless for special reasons, he be excused by the Council declare
openly, and without debate, his assent or dissent to the question. In taking the yeas and nays,
and upon the call of the House, the names of the members shall be taken alphabetically.
XVIII.On a motion made and seconded to shut the doors of the house, on the discussion of
any business which may, in the opinion of a member, require secrecy, the President shall di-
rect the gallery to be cleared; and, during the discussion of such motion, the doors shall remain
shut, and no motion shall be deemed in order, to admit any person or persons, whatsoever,
within the doors of the Council Chamber, to present any petition, memorial, or address, or to
hear any such read.
XIX.The following order shall be observed in taking up the business of the Council, viz:
Motions, petitions, resolutions, reports of standing committees, reports of select committees,
orders of the day.
XX.When a question has been once made and carried in the affirmative or negative, it
shall be in order, for any member of the majority to move for the reconsideration thereof, but no
motion for the reconsideration of any vote shall be in order after a bill, resolution, message,
report, amendment, or motion, upon which the vote was taken, shall have gone out of the
possession of the house announcing their decision, nor shall any motion for reconsideration be
in order, unless made on the same day on which the vote was taken, or within the two next
days of actual session of the Legislative Council thereafter.
XXI.On a question when the ayes and noes are called for, in the event of a tie, the ques-
tion shall be decided in the negative.
XXII.All questions shall be put by the President of the Council, and the members shall sig-
nify their assent or dissent, by answering viva voce, aye or no.
XXIII.The President of the Legislative Council, or President pro tempore, shall have the
right to name a member to perform the duties of the chair; but such substitution shall not ex-
tend beyond an adjournment.
XXIV.Before any petition or memorial, addressed to the Legislative Council shall be recei-
ved and read at the table, whether the same by introduced by the President or a member, a
brief statement of the contents of the petition or memorial, shall verbally be made by the in-
XXV.One days notice, at least, shall be given of an intended motion for leave to bring in a
bill; and no bill shall be written or printed, except by express order of the Council.
XXVI.Every bill shall receive three readings previous to its beings passed; and the Presi-
dent shall give notice at each, whether it be the first, second or third; which readings shall be
on three different days, unless the Legislative Council unanimously direct otherwise.
XXVII.No bill shall be committed, or amended, until it shall have been twice read; after
which it may be referred to a committee.
XXVIII.The final question upon the second reading of every bill, resolution or motion, re-
quiring three readings previous to being passed, shall be "whether it shall be engrossed and
read a third time?" And no amendment shall be received for discussion at the third reading
of any bill, resolution, amendment or motion, unless by unanimous consent of the members
present; but it shall at all times be in order before the final passage of any such bill, resolu-
tion or motion, to move its commitment, and should such commitment take place, and any
amendment be reported by the committee, the said bill, resolution or motion, shall be again
read a second time and considered as in committee of the whole, and then the aforesaid ques-
tion shall be put.
XXIX.The titles of bills, and such parts thereof only as shall be affected by proposed a-
mendments, shall be inserted on the journals.
XXX.The following standing committees to consist of not less than three members each,
shall be appointed by the President at the commencement of each session, with leave to report
by bill or otherwise: A committee on the Judiciary, a committee on the Militia, a committee
on Finance, a committee on Elections, a committee on Claims, a committee on Schools and
Colleges, a committee on the state of the Territory, a committee on Banks, a committee on
Agriculture, a committee on Internal Improvements and a committee on Enrolled Bills.
XXXI.All confidential communications made by the Governor of the Territory of Florida,
to the Legislative Council, shall be by the members thereof kept secret, until the Council by
their resolution, take off the injunction of secrecy.
XXXII.All information or remarks, touching or concerning the character or qualifications
of any person nominated by the Governor to office, shall be kept secret.
XXXIII.When acting on confidential, or Executive business the house shall be cleared of
all persons, except the Clerk, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and Door-Keeper.
XXXIV.The proceedings of the Legislative council, when not acting as in committee of
the whole, shall be entered on the journals as concisely as possible, care being taken to detail
a true and accurate account of the proceedings.
XXXV.Messengers may be introduced in any stage of business, except while a question
is potting, while the yeas and nays are calling, or while the ballots are counting.
XXXVI.The Governor and Secretary of the Territory, former Members of the Council,
and the Judges of the Superior Courts shall be admitted to a seat within the bar of this house,
upon being invited by any member of the Council.
XXXVII.The Clerk of the Legislative Council, the Sergeant at-Arms and the Door-Keep-
er, shall severally be sworn by the President of the Council, well and faithfully to discharge
their respective duties, and to keep secret the proceedings of the house when sitting close-
ed doors.
XXXVIII.No bill shall be introduced in the house on the last week of the session, unless
by unanimous consent of the Council.


State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0117


A list of 38 rules of order that the Legislative Council agreed upon in conducting the affairs of The Territory of Florida.