Rules Committee, Alabama State Senate

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The Rules Committee is a standing committee of the Alabama State Senate.

Per Rule 47 of the Senate Rules, committees of the Alabama State Senate are assigned by the Committee on Assignments, consisting of the president pro tempore, lieutenant governor, senate majority leader and three additional members appointed by the president pro tempore.[1] The rules do not specify how often committees are assigned.[2] A majority of appointed members make up a committee's quorum. The president of the Senate serves as an ex officio member of each committee, except specific Local Legislation Committees, with the power to vote. The president may appoint a senator who is not already on a committee to serve as his official substitute.[3]

DocumentIcon.jpg See rules: Senate Rules


The Committee on Rules, shall have supervision over the Revision of the Journal, Enrolled Bills, and Engrossed Bills. In addition, the Committee on Rules shall consider and report on matters required by the Rules of the Senate, as follows: motions or resolutions to set aside a regular order of business (Rule 9); motions or resolutions for a Special Order (Rules 9 and 13); special rules that debate on a pending measure shall cease at a certain hour and a vote be taken on the measure (Rule 20); propositions to suspend, modify, or amend any rule or any part thereof (Rule 35); all resolutions that may be referred to it (Rule 55). Also, the Committee on Rules shall render advisory opinions to any lobbyist who seeks advice about the rules relating to lobbying, and the committee shall make recommendations regarding the imposition of penalties prescribed for violations of the rules relating to lobbying. The Chairperson of the Committee on Rules shall have power to designate the Vice Chairperson of the Committee to act as Chairperson. Such designation shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Secretary of the Senate. The Committee on Rules shall not exceed 15 members.[4][5]


2015 legislative session

The following table describes committee membership at the beginning of the 2015 legislative session.

Rules Members, 2015
Democratic members (3)Republican members (13)
Billy BeasleyJ. T. Waggoner, Chair
Vivian FiguresPaul Bussman, Vice-chair
Rodger SmithermanDick L. Brewbaker
Gerald Dial
Rusty Glover
Bill Hightower
Jimmy Holley
Jim McClendon
Arthur Orr
Trip Pittman
Greg Reed
Paul Sanford
Clay Scofield


The following table describes committee membership for the 2011 legislative session.

Chair removal

In November 2011, Scott Beason was removed from his role as chair of the Rules Committee. He was replaced by Jabo Waggoner for the 2012 legislative session.[6]

Beason fell under heavy scrutiny in September 2011 after he made a comment referring to African-Americans as "aborigines."[7] In a press conference he apologized for the remark, saying it was a "careless and unnecessary" statement.[7] The comment became public as a result of the investigations into bribery and corruption in the statehouse stemming from a bill related to bingo. Beason wore a wire for the FBI, and he made the comment when discussing legislation with a former legislator.[7]


The following table describes committee membership for the 2009 legislative session.

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