In The Loop – March 25, 2022
As the legislature adapts to a blended legislative process, this week, several committees experienced a few stumbles. The rules of the legislature were adjusted to reflect both virtual and in-person committee meetings, but in one committee, the challenge of having both virtual participation and in-person participation called into question which set of rules applied to a verbal amendment by a ranking member.
As Ranking Member Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato made a motion to amend a particular bill while participating virtually, Co-Chair Senator Matt Lesser called a parliamentary move by asking the legislative commissioners (LCO, a.k.a. the committee’s attorneys) if the amendment was properly before the committee under the current rules. While LCO wasn’t prepared for such a question, the committee stood at ease while the lawyers sorted out the answer. Eventually, the LCO attorneys ruled that yes, it was properly before the committee, and reminded members of the two sets of standards for in-person and virtual amendments. The committee then proceeded to wrap up their debate and eventually rejected the amendment.