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TN’s SJR0127 Goes to the Full House Tomorrow

May 10, 2009

Please encourage your Representative to SUPPORT this bill!

Here is a description of part of the law-making process in Tennessee, to show what may be happening with SJR0127 this week:


On the day a bill appears “on the calendar,” it is open to debate and amendment by the entire body considering it (House or Senate). This action takes place under the order of business now known as “Calendar”.

The bill is then called up for passage, and after being considered the third time and discussed or debated, it may be passed with or without amendment by a majority of the members to which the body is entitled. (50 or more votes in the House of Representatives; 17 or more votes in the Senate.) When debate is over, a vote is taken on the bill; and the question is, “Shall the bill be passed on third and final reading?”. Procedure reaches that point either by (a) debate being exhausted, i.e., all those wishing to speak have done so and the Speaker calls for the question; or (b) a motion for the “previous question,” which requires two-thirds vote of those present, automatically stops debate and a vote is taken. If the vote on the passage of the bill carries, the bill automatically goes to the Chief Engrossing Clerk.


That same site goes on to describe additional steps in the process for “General Bills”.

It also has a separate section for “Resolutions” (which is what I’m pretty sure SJR0127 is, i.e., a “Senate Joint Resolution”).

The following represents the normal steps in adopting resolutions.

Resolutions differ from bills in that they do not become law but simply serve to express the views of the majority of one or both houses of the Legislature.

Resolutions adopted in only one house are known as House or Senate Resolutions, depending on the house in which adopted or introduced. Resolutions adopted by both the Senate and the House are called Joint Resolutions. If they originate in the Senate, they are called Senate Joint Resolutions; and if in the House, they are referred to as House Joint Resolutions.

In the Senate, all memorializing resolutions are referred to the Calendar Committee; and all other resolutions, except joint resolutions proposing joint conventions, are referred to standing committees.

In the House, all resolutions except congratulatory or memorializing resolutions are referred to standing committees, while congratulatory and memorializing resolutions are placed on the Consent Calendar. All joint resolutions in either house calling for a joint convention of both houses are referred to a committee consisting of the Speaker, the majority leader, and the minority leader; this committee is known as the Committee on Delayed Bills.

No resolution, except one proposing an amendment to the Constitution, is required to be read three times. However, according to Article III, Section 18 of the Tennessee Constitution, all joint resolutions, except those calling for adjournment of the Legislature and those proposing specific amendments to the Constitution, must be submitted to the Governor for his signature. The Governor may veto a resolution, just as he may veto a bill; and the General Assembly may override the veto of a resolution in the same manner it may override the veto of a bill.

Please monitor that site for the progress of SJR0127, which currently is on the House “Regular Calendar” for tomorrow (5/11). From the last paragraph in the description quoted above, it seems that the Governor does not get involved since this is a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution. So perhaps tomorrow’s meeting in the House will be the final decision-making stage during this legislative session. I think that next year’s legislative session will have to repeat the process that occurred this year. THEN the proposed amendment will be eligble to go on the ballot for voters. (I’ve been trying to find definitive information about the process, but am running out of time to search. Will put links on the SJR0127 sub-page of this blog so that you can see the various other items that I stumbled upon while searching.)

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