South Carolina Legislature

Rule 8

Motions and Their Precedence

    8.1    No motion shall be debated until it shall have been stated by the Speaker. Any motion, if requested by the Speaker, must be reduced to writing and delivered at the desk and read, before it shall be debated.

    8.2    The mover may withdraw any question or proposition before an amendment or decision, except after a demand for the yeas and nays and except after the previous question has been ordered.

    8.3    No dilatory motion or amendment shall be entertained by the Speaker, prior precedents to the contrary notwithstanding.

    8.4    A question before the House shall be suspended by:

1.    a message;

2.    a report or resolution of the Committees on Rules, Conference, Free Conference, or Invitations;

3.    a question of order;

4.    a question of privilege;

5.    a question of taking recess;

6.    any other incidental questions, such as of reading papers, dividing a question, withdrawing a motion, excusing a member from voting, or the like. Provided, further, the five first named may suspend even a speech; provided, that the fifth, if once negatived, shall not be received during the same speech without the consent of the member speaking.

    8.5        When a question is under debate only those motions herein below shall be received and notwithstanding the provisions of any other rule, none of such motions except the motion to adjourn or recede, a motion to continue, or a motion for the previous question shall be considered until the conclusion of such debate. Such motions shall require a simple majority vote unless otherwise specified herein:

1.    to adjourn or recede;

2.    to continue;

3.    to lay on the table;

4.    for the previous question (fifty percent of those present and voting, a quorum being present, plus five when a member has the floor at the time the motion is made);

5.    to adjourn the debate to a certain day;

6.    to commit or recommit.

These motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are hereinabove arranged.

Provided, a motion to reconsider shall be received and noted while a speech is being made but notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 8.14, shall be considered immediately after disposal of the pending matter or pursuant to Rule 6.3(11), whichever shall come first.

    8.6    The previous question upon any matter may be invoked as follows:

Upon an affirmative vote on a motion for the previous question (fifty percent of those present and voting, a quorum being present, plus five, being required to interrupt debate and a simple majority vote at all other times), the amendments then upon the desk shall be considered, but no further amendments shall be allowed to be offered unless the amendment has at least two-thirds of the membership of the House as its sponsor. The proponents of an amendment shall be allowed an opportunity to make a short explanation of his amendment for a period not to exceed three minutes, then opponents to the amendment shall be permitted not more than three minutes to oppose the proposed amendment. Then two hours of debate shall be allowed on the bill, the time being equally divided between opponents and proponents with no person to speak more than ten minutes. Provided, that after the previous question has been invoked, the primary sponsor of an amendment may withdraw it with unanimous consent without making a motion to table it.

Provided, the previous question may be invoked on a motion to reconsider only when the matter to be reconsidered is debatable.

Provided, a motion to adjourn debate shall be in order even though the previous question has been invoked.

Provided, further, any member who has been recognized by the Speaker and is speaking from the podium, is considered to be debating the issue and a call for the previous question, whether by the member or any other member, requires the necessary fifty percent of those present and voting plus five.

    8.7    A motion to recess may state the time for reconvening and in the absence of such time stated, reconvening shall be at the call of the Chair. The Speaker may at anytime order the House to stand at ease to be reconvened at the call of the Chair.

    8.8    (Reserved)

    8.9    When a motion is made during a motion period, the Speaker shall entertain but one motion at a time and there shall be no substitute motions considered. The same motion may be entertained consecutively during the motion period.

    8.10    Any member may without debate, call for the division of a question and the House may divide the question if the Speaker determines the question so distinct that, one being taken away, the rest may stand entirely on its own. Provided, however, that a bill may not be divided into separate parts.

    8.11    a.    The following motions shall be decided by simple majority unless otherwise specified and without debate after any short remarks the Speaker permits:

to adjourn;

to recede;

to continue;

to lay on the table;

for the previous question (unless it is made when a member

has the floor and then it requires a majority plus five);

to adjourn debate;

to commit or recommit;

to resolve the House into a Committee of the Whole;

to proceed to the orders of the day;

to recur to the morning hour;

to fix the hour to which the House shall next meet;

to grant free conference powers;

to divide the question.

b.    The following motions shall not be permitted at the same stage of the bill or proposition until one hour of time has elapsed since the same question was negatived:

for the previous question;

to lay on the table;

to adjourn debate;

to continue;

to commit or recommit;

to recur to the morning hour.

    8.12    Motions to adjourn, to recede, and to recede subject to the call of the Chair, shall always be in order except while the House is actually engaged in deciding a question by yeas and nays or in voting viva voce or in balloting. However, if a motion to adjourn or to take a recess has been negatived, no new motion to adjourn or take a recess shall be in order until fifteen minutes shall have elapsed from the decision of the former motion, even though such motion to recede might be to recede to a different time.

    8.13    (Reserved)

    8.14    When a question shall have been once decided in the affirmative or negative, any member who voted with the prevailing side may on the same day or the next day of the sitting of the House move for a reconsideration thereof and the House, if in session for statewide matters, shall immediately have the question of reconsideration before it. If the House is not in session for statewide matters or have before it a matter under Special Order, it shall have the question of reconsideration before it as provided in Rule 6.3. Provided, that, if the motion to reconsider concerns an amendment to the matter under Special Order, the House shall immediately have the question of reconsideration before it. If the House shall refuse to reconsider, or, upon reconsideration, shall affirm its first decision, no further motion shall be in order except by unanimous consent; provided, that once a motion to reconsider is made it may not be withdrawn except in the same day in which it was made.

Provided, that a motion to reconsider shall not be allowed if the bill, resolution, message, report, amendment, motion, or the paper upon which the vote was taken shall have gone out of the possession of the House.

A motion to reconsider may be laid on the table. If such motion be laid on the table, it shall be deemed a final disposition of the motion.

    8.15    A member may move to continue a matter when called on the Calendar to the next session, but not to a specific date in the next session; and if the House agrees thereto, the matter shall be thereupon continued to the next session, and the Clerk of the House shall make up a Calendar of all the matters so continued, placing the same thereupon, in the order in which they have been continued. At the ensuing session the continued matters shall be taken up and considered in the same stage in which they were when so continued and shall have priority according to the last order for consideration made upon them.

If a motion to continue, having received an affirmative vote, shall be reconsidered and thereupon such motion to continue shall receive a negative vote, the matter shall be taken up in its original place on the Calendar.

Last Updated: 12/13/2018 3:30 PM

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