South Carolina Legislature

Rule 1

The Speaker

Speaker Pro Tempore

    1.1    The Speaker shall take the chair on every legislative day precisely at the hour to which the House adjourned at the last sitting, immediately call the members to order, cause prayer to be said, the Journal of the previous proceedings to be corrected, and if a quorum be present, proceed to other business.

    1.2    The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum, and, in case of disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries, or in the lobby, may cause the same to be cleared. Any person guilty of contempt of the House may be ordered into custody by the House and dealt with as it deems proper.

    1.3    If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgresses the Rules of the House, the Speaker shall call him to order, or any member may call such transgressions to the attention of the Speaker who shall call the transgressor to order. If repeated cries of order are ineffective, the Speaker may call a member by name, and if the Speaker deems it necessary, he shall state the offense committed. The member may be heard in his exculpation and shall withdraw, and the House shall consider his punishment or any further proceedings to be had.

    1.4    The Speaker shall sign all acts, joint resolutions, memorials, writs, warrants, and authorizations for payment or other papers authorized by the House.

    1.5    The Speaker shall decide all points of order, subject to an appeal by any member, and he may require the member raising a point of order to cite the rule or other authority in support of the question. With unanimous consent, a member may withdraw a point of order the member has raised. Upon appeal, no member shall speak more than once and for no longer than twenty minutes each, except by permission of the House.

    1.6    The Speaker may vote in all cases (except when he may be personally or pecuniarily interested). If the House be equally divided, the question shall be decided in the negative. The presiding officer may give information or explain any matter before the House; he may speak on points of order in preference to other members, and as often as he may deem necessary, but he shall not enter into any debate or endeavor to influence any question before the House while presiding. Provided, the Speaker, in his discretion, may address the body concerning matters of importance to the House.

    1.7    The Speaker shall be elected on the opening day of the organizational session by the membership of the House. Pursuant to this rule a person elected Speaker may not serve more than five consecutive terms in that office.

    1.8    The Speaker Pro Tempore shall be elected on the opening day of the organizational session and shall preside in the absence of the Speaker. If a conflict of interest arises involving the Speaker and the performance of his duties the Speaker Pro Tempore shall perform the duties of the Speaker to the extent that the conflict of interest exists. Furthermore, pursuant to this rule a person elected Speaker Pro Tempore may not serve more than five consecutive terms in that office. Provided, the Speaker or the Speaker Pro Tempore, whoever may be presiding at the time, may name a member to preside, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment. In the absence of the Speaker and the Speaker Pro Tempore for more than one day, the House may elect a Speaker Pro Tempore to serve until the return of the Speaker or Speaker Pro Tempore. When the Speaker Pro Tempore is absent for more than three consecutive statewide legislative days, the House of Representatives may elect an acting Speaker Pro Tempore who shall serve until the return of the Speaker Pro Tempore. The acting Speaker Pro Tempore may continue to serve on any committee to which he has been appointed.

    1.9    All committees shall be appointed by the Speaker, unless otherwise provided for by rule or by law, except Senatorial and Gubernatorial appointees and ex officio members of the House. The Speaker shall name the members constituting each committee in alphabetical order. The Chairman shall be elected by the respective committees during the organizational session. If any subsequent vacancy shall occur in a committee's chairmanship, the election of a new committee chairman shall take place at the time and date to be set by the presiding officer of the respective committee. The committees may at their discretion elect a Vice-Chairman and such other officers as they may choose.

Provided, when appointing members to a Committee on Conference or Free Conference, the Speaker shall consult with the majority and minority political party leaders and appoint at least one member of the minority political party represented in the House.

    1.10    The Speaker is responsible that all amendments ordered by the House be correctly made and that the attention of the House be called to all amendments made by the Senate since the matter was before the House. All Senate amendments to matters previously considered by the House and all House amendments to matters previously considered by the Senate shall, after adoption, be printed by use of distinctive type interlineation in such a manner as to reflect in one text the original version and the language of the amendment.

    1.11    If the Speaker or Speaker Pro Tempore resigns from such position, he shall submit his resignation to the Clerk of the House in writing. This procedure shall be followed in the case of the resignation of any elected officer of the House.

    1.12    In case of emergency, the Speaker has the authority, when, in his opinion, it is impractical or dangerous to hold a regularly scheduled session(s) of the House of Representatives, to declare the body adjourned to some other time. Such actions are to be taken only in times of great emergency including, but not limited to, natural disasters, severe weather, and Acts of God.

When, due to great emergency or through inadvertence, the House is adjourned without provision for the next meeting, the Speaker may issue a call specifying the time for the next meeting.

    1.13    Section 2-3-110 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, designates the Speaker of the House as the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, and as such, the Speaker is authorized to initiate or otherwise participate in litigation on behalf of the House. The Speaker shall comply with the applicable rules of civil procedure in the relevant jurisdiction when taking action on behalf of the House.

Last Updated: 2/5/2019 2:34 PM

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