word for the day: Resolution

today’s Word for the Day is “Resolution”

 res·o·lu·tion  [rez-uhloo-shuhn]

I get a lot of questions about resolutions, especially since in practice they are not subject to any filing deadline. (The Senate rules appear to have a filing deadline in March for all resolutions except those honoring deceased persons and adjourning the General Assembly, but that deadline appears to be honored in the breach. The House has no filing deadline on resolutions)

There are three types of resolutions, joint resolutions (which must pass both houses but do not go to the Governor), House resolutions (which pass just the House), and Senate resolutions (which just pass the Senate).  House and Senate resolutions are often called “simple resolutions”.

Joint resolutions are used to:

  1. Establish Legislative Research Commission studies
  2. Invite the Governor to speak
  3. Pay respects to deceased individuals
  4. Adjourn the General Assembly sine die, for more than 3 days, or to meet in another location for a special event
  5. Commemorate persons or events, or ask Congress to do something (though the rules attempt to restrict this)
  6. Confirm gubernatorial appointments

Simple resolutions can be used to:

  1. Adopt or amend the rules of the house
  2. Establish select committees
  3. Discipline members
  4. Pay respects to deceased individuals
  5. Commemorate persons or events, or ask Congress to do something (though the rules attempt to restrict this)
  6. Govern the internal operations of that house

Here are some of the applicable rules relating to resolutions:

HOUSE RULES 

House Rule 31(b) in part: “Resolutions are not law but may be used when a law is not necessary for the purpose contained therein. Resolutions shall not be used to appropriate funds for any purpose, but may be used to create study commissions or committees or establish investigative committees, to honor deceased persons, and to adopt House rules and internal affairs. Resolutions cannot amend, repeal, or modify a statute; nor do they have life beyond the term of the session during which they are adopted.”

 House Rule 26(b): “The Speaker shall have the exclusive right and authority to establish select committees, but this does not exclude the right of the House by resolution to establish select committees. 

House Rule 31(g): (g)       All memorializing, celebration, commendation, and commemoration resolutions, except those honoring the memory of deceased persons, shall be excluded from introduction and consideration in the House. 

House Rule 31(f):(f)        House Resolutions need not be read more than twice. 

House Rule 34(b):(b)       Numbering of House Bills shall be designated as “H.B.___.” (No. following). A Joint Resolution shall be designated as “H.J.R. ___.” (No. following). A House Resolution shall be designated as “H.R.___.” (No. following). 

House Rule 58(a):(a) These rules shall not be permanently rescinded or altered except by House simple resolution passed by a two‑thirds vote of the members present and voting. The introducer of the resolution must on the floor of the House give notice of intent to introduce the resolution on the legislative day preceding its introduction. 

SENATE RULES 

Senate Rule 17(b):(b)       No derogatory remark reflecting personally upon any Senator shall be in order upon the floor of the Senate unless preceded by a motion or resolution of censure. 

Senate Rule 31:RULE 31. Appointment of committees. – The President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall have the exclusive right and authority to appoint the membership of all committees, regular and select, and to appoint committee chairs and vice‑chairs and to establish select committees, but this does not exclude the right of the Senate by resolution to establish select committees. Upon the recommendation of the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate, the Senate may alter the name, number, and composition of the standing committees by a majority vote of the Senators present and voting.

 Senate Rule 40(b):(b)       All memorializing, celebration, commendation, and commemoration resolutions, except those which solely honor the memory of deceased persons or a North Carolina institution, or both, shall be excluded from introduction and consideration in the Senate. 

Senate Rule 40.1(b):(b)       All public bills and resolutions, except those honoring the memory of deceased persons or adjourning the General Assembly, must be filed for introduction not later than Tuesday, March 13, 2007, provided that any such measure submitted to the Bill Drafting Division of the Legislative Services Office by 4:00 P.M. on that day and filed for introduction in the Senate before 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, shall be treated as if it had been filed for introduction under this rule. 

Senate RULE 44 in part:  Senate simple resolutions shall not require three readings.” 

Senate Rule 77: (a) These rules may not be permanently rescinded or altered except by Senate simple resolution passed by a two‑thirds vote of the membership of the Senate. The introducer of the resolution must, on the floor of the Senate, give notice of the intent to introduce the resolution on the legislative day preceding its introduction.

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