New House Rules Adopted in Committee

by Jason Tolbert ([email protected]) 70 views 

The House Rules Committee met on Wednesday in what was a relatively uneventful meeting.  They did some minor tweaking to the rules, which as best I can tell did not substantially change the way the House operates.

The biggest change was assigning House districts to Congressional caucuses based on the new maps both for the state legislature and Congress.  It is a bit of inside baseball, but each Congressional caucus has 25 districts/members in it.  Which caucus you are in can be important primarily when it comes time for committee assignments as each committee has a certain number for each district.

Several districts overlapped into two districts or even three districts as in the case of Rep. David Branscum (R-Marshall).  In such cases, committee chairman Keith Ingram (D-West Memphis) explained that these were assigned based on where the incumbent actually lived.

The other big rule change was the requirements for fiscal impact studies for proposals affecting the state lottery.  The House Rules incorporated a law passed last session by Rep. Barry Hyde (D-North Little Rock) who co-chairs the Lottery Oversight Committee.

Other tweaking moved the election of caucus chairs back to September 1 (but before November elections), clarified when bills must be physically or electronically present for consideration by committee or the House, and clarified how a bill passed out of the House could be recalled after being transmitted to the Governor.

The committee adopted all the changes with little discussion and no opposition.

Full outline of rule changes here.