During chamber session, delegates debate and pass bills regarding important New Jersey issues. Bills will be debated approximately in the order of their committee rankings. If the bill passes, it will either move on to the opposite chamber (if it has not already done so) or go to the governor’s desk to hopefully, if it is not vetoed, become a bill.
The procedure of chamber session (for each bill) is as follows:
- Bill Presentation
- The Chair shall call for the next Bill Author on the docket to the floor.
- The Clerk shall read the bill by the title only, noting all amendments.
- Authors’ Opening Remarks
- The author will give initial remarks, not exceeding 2 minutes, to expound upon the bill as well as give comments, data, and statistics to urge passage of the Bill.
- Non-Debatable Technical Questions (NDTQs)
- Legislators will be able to ask the Bill Author questions of clarification within the bill. Grammar, data, statistics oriented questions are allowed.
- “Why” type questions that are opinion-based are not allowed. Instead these opinion-based questions can be asked during con time if the author yields to a series of questions.
- Bill Debate
- All remarks will be for a duration of 2 minutes at max.
- Debate will begin by the Chair recognizing a con speaker.
- After the con speaker concludes, a pro speaker is recognized to speak in support of the bill. This pattern of rotation continues for at least three rounds ending again on a con speaker.
- Motions to ask the author questions, hear amendments, or move to the previous question are only applicable on pro time.
- Motions to extend debate must be made before the speakers’ list has elapsed. If the chamber agrees to do so, then debate of the bill shall continue on. The amount of speakers used to discuss the bill during the extended time is entirely up to the chair’s discretion.
- Author Summations
- Each author gives their closing remarks, not exceding a duration of two minutes (unless excess time was yielded to their summation). Authors have the opportunity to respond to previously made con remarks and make final statements urging delegates to pass their bill.
- The chair will call for a vote on the Bill.
- The bill must obtains “50% +1 vote” Majority to pass through the Chamber.
- If a bill passes the first chamber, it is delivered to the expeditor who sends it to the second chamber to undergo the same bill debate process process.
- If the bill is defeated in the first chamber, it is delivered to the expeditor but does not move on to any other chamber.
- If the bill passes the second chamber, it is delivered to the expeditor who sends it to the Governor’s Office for action.
- If the bill is amended and passed as amended in the second chamber, it is delivered to the expeditor who returns it to the first chamber for a vote on the amendment. If the amended bill passes, it will go before the Governor. If the amended bill does not ‘re-pass’ in the first chamber, the bill is defeated and does not move on.
More detailed procedural information can be found in the parliamentary procedure manual.