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No member, after having appeared and been sworn, can with propriety, absent himself from the house during the hours of business, without leave first asked and obtained from the house ; unless he have a reasonable excuse therefor, as illness, or other urgent business, &c.

The speaker, under the direction of the house, may send the sergeant at arms of the house, for any such member, absenting himself from the house during the hours of business.



He is chosen by ballot; the clerk of the preceding session superintends the proceedings in organizing the new house, till the speaker is placed in the chair. The speaker is conducted to the chair, immediately after his election, by a committee of two members appointed by the house, under a nomination by the acting clerk. His

powers and duty are various. The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the house ; he shall have the right to name any member to perform the duties of the chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment. R. of A. 3.

The speaker shall not vote in any case, unless where the vote shall be by ballot; or when the house shall be equally divided; or when his vote, added to the minority, shall make an equal division; and in case of such equal division, the question shall be lost. R. of A. 1.

When the house is in committee of the whole, the speaker addresses the chair on the matter, and votes as any other member.

When the house adjourns, the members shall keep their seats until the speaker leaves the chair. R. of A.5.

6. Mr.

Every member, previous to his speaking, shall rise from his seat, and address himself to the speaker. R. of A. 6.

When two or more members rise at once, the speaker shall name the member who is first to speak. R. of A. 7.

No motion shall be debated or put, unless the same be seconded. When a motion is seconded, it shall be stated by the speaker before debate; and every such motion shall be reduced to writing, if the speaker, or any memher desire it. R. of A. 9.

Then and then only is it in possession of the house. R. of A. 10.

In forming a committee of the whole house, the speaker shall leave the chair, and a chairman shall be appointed to preside. R. of A. 25.

The house never resolves itself into a committee of the whole, on more than three bills or subjects at once ; when so resolved into a committe of the whole, the speaker says,

will please take the chair”-the chairman thus appointed, comes to the chair, the speaker rises, delivers him the bills, &c. and informs him the house have thus resolved itself into commitee of the whole, &c. he does not resume the chair, until the committee of the whole have resolved to rise, and report upon all the three different subjects. Then the speaker takes his seat, and the chairman reports the proceedings in committee of the whole, and the speaker repeats the same report to the house, where the same are, or are not agreed to.

When a bill passes the house, the speaker shall certify the same, with the date thereof, at the foot of the bill. R. of A. 29.

In the absence of a quorum, the speaker may adjourn the house until the next sitting day; or if in committee of the whole, the committee may rise and report progress. R. of A. 33.

On the meeting of the house, after the reading of the journal, the presentation of petitions shall be first in order, and it shall be the duty of the speaker to call for the

R. of A. 40. The speaker may assign places for stenographers.

He nominates all the standing committees and all select committees of the house, and takes the sense of the house on such nominations.


All committees shall be appointed by the speaker, unless otherwise specially directed by the house, in which case they shall be appointed by ballot; and if upon such ballot the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the votes given, the house shall proceed to a second ballot, in which a plurality of votes shall prevail ; and in case a greater number than is required to compose or complete a committee, shall have an equal number of votes, the house shall proceed to a further ballot or ballots. R. of A. 52.

Under the direction of the house, he may send the sergeant at arms after members that have qualified, and absent themselves without leave.

The speaker signs his name to all addresses of the honorable the assembly, to his excellency the governor, and reads through and delivers the same to him, accompanied by, and in presence of the members of the assembly.

Under the colonial government, on the 9th April 1691, under governor Sloughter, is the most distant period at which there seems to have been a choice of speaker by the house. About the same time a majority was resolved competent to do business; and on the 22d October, 1694, the speaker was ordered to give pay certificates to members—these three last regulations have been in constant use ever since their first occurrence.

When the speaker has been ill, other speakers, pro tempore, have been appointed.

Instances of this, are, 1 H. 4. Sir John Cheyney, and so Sir William Sturton ; and in 15 H. 6. Sir John Tyrrel, 1656. January 27, 1658, March 9. 1659, January 13.

Sir Job Charlton, ill,
Seymour chosen, 1673, Feb. 18.
Seymour being ill,

Not merely
Sir Robert Sawyer chosen,
1678, April 15.

1 Chand. 169. Sawyer being ill,

276. 277. Seymour chosen.

Thorpe in Execution, a new speaker chosen, 3 H. 6. 3. Grey 11. and March 14, 1694, Sir John Trevor chosen.

There have been no later instances. 2 Hats, 161, 4 inst. AL, Parl. 263,

pro tem,


A Speaker may be removed at the will of the house, and a speaker pro tempore appointed. 2 Grey 186. 5 Grey 134.

So in the assembly, on the 12th Feb, 1810, Mr. Ross was chosen speaker, Mr. Sanford, the speaker first chosen, being indisposed and unable to attend to the duties of the office.” The speaker in the first instance, is not chosen conditionally, not pro tem.



The governor shall be general and commander in chief of all the militia, and admiral of the navy of the state. He shall have power to convene the legislature (or the senate only) on extraordinary occasions.

He shall communicate by message to the legislature at every session, the condition of the state; and recommend such matters to them as he shall judge expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature, and shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed. He shall, at stated times receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected. Const. Art. 3, Sec. 4.

A joint address of both houses of parliament is read by the speaker of the house of lords. It may be attended by both houses in a body, or by a committee from each house, or by the two speakers only. An address of the house of commons, only, may be presented by the whole house or by the speaker. 9 Grey 473.1 Chandler 293, 301. or by such particular members as are of the privy council. 2. Hats. 278.

In the Assembly, the address to the Governor, is brought in by the chairman of a committee of three members, appointed for that purpose by the house, being first nominated by the speaker. The same is then printed, and passed by the house in committee of the whole, en

grossed, read again, passed, signed by the speaker-a committee of two members is then appointed, to wait on the governor, and know at what time and place it will be agreeable to him to receive the house with their address in answer to his speech. This committee give him a copy of the address. He appoints a time and place, and in pursuance thereof, the speaker leaves the chair, preceded by the sergeant at arms, and accompanied by the clerk and the members of the house, proceed at tbe hour to meet the governor at the place appointed ; there the speaker reads through the address to the governor, in presence of the house, and delivers him the same.

The house having received his reply, then return, and the speaker makes report, that the house have waited on the governor in pursuance of his appointment, and delivered the said address, and received the reply, which he then hands to the clerk; it is read, and the usual business of the house is then resumed.




That it is the right of the citizens of this state to petition the person administering the government of this state for the time being, or either house of the legislature; and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.

On the meeting of the house, after the reading of the journal, the presentation of petitions shall be first in order, and it shall be the duty of the speaker to call for the

R. of A. 40. Petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to the house, shall be presented by the speaker, or by a member in his place.-R. of A. 17.

The member having the petition or memorial, rises from his seat, announces the object of the petition, walks up to the speaker's desk, and presents the petition, &c. to the speaker. The name of the member presenting the petition ought to be endorsed thereon by the member presenting it.

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