Any change to a bill is considered an amendment. Youth Legislators shall put a good deal of thought into amending a bill. Before proposing an amendment, the legislator must ask himself/herself “Will this action truly improve this bill?” If so, an amendment is in order through the following:
- An amendment can not alter the Enactment Clause of the bill.
- All amendments are to be submitted to the Chair, clearly written on the proper form.
The Chair will not recognize amendments that are not deemed germane (relevant to the subject and not harming the bill’s intent).
- Proper Format
- If replacing material, delete the existing material first, then add the new material.
- If a section is being added to a long bill, the new section should be numbered as “II-B”, thus negating the need to renumber the entire bill.
- When referring to punctuation marks, use the word rather than the symbol, e.g. “delete the comma and insert a semicolon”.
- Normally it is not necessary to indicate both the word before and the word after the new material. When it is necessary for clarity to do so, write
(e.g.) “on page 2, line 35 after ‘of’ and before ‘state’ insert ‘the’”.
- Always use the clearest and simplest language and construction.
Through “speed-dating” sessions at the Pre-Legislative Session, legislators will be given plenty of opportunities to head feedback on their bill. Bills can be amended (except for the enactment clause) while at Pre-Leg, or for the two (2) week session after Pre-Leg through the online bill submission site. All changes can be made without using the amendment procedure.
@Conference – Committee Session
During committee session at Conference, legislators may make motions for amendments at any time during the “speaker’s list” style debate. However, only amendments that the author deems “friendly”, i.e., when the bill author agrees with the content and changes proposed through the amendment, will be recognized. Friendly amendments will forego debate and immediately go to a vote. Those amendments that are not deemed friendly will not be recognized and should be proposed again in Chambers.
@Conference – Chamber Session Formal Procedure
Amendments proposed in chamber sessions must undergo the formal procedure as stated in Roberts Rules of Order (Parliamentary Procedure). The procedure is as follows:
- The motion to amend shall be made during a con speech. The amendment sponsor shall submit the written amendment to the Chair prior to making the motion.
- The Chair must deem the amendment germane.
- The Clerk/Secretary shall read the amendment aloud.
- The sponsor is given one minute to present a statement of position on the amendment.
- Followed by two rounds of con-pro debate on the amendment beginning and ending with a con speech.
- Amendments may be amended – but only once.
- This issue is brought to a vote. Vote needed to pass is a simple majority of the members of the body.