Rules Committee, Mississippi State Senate

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The Rules Committee is a standing committee of the Mississippi State Senate.[1] Per Senate Rule 65, membership consists of the non-voting President of the Senate, the President Pro Tempore as the chair, and four senators of at least four years' tenure, one from each congressional district.[2]

Per Rules 7, 36 and 37 of the Senate Rules, committees of the Mississippi State Senate are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, who serves as the President of the Senate.[3] After the adoption of Senate Rules, the committees are appointed. The first person named to a committee by the President shall serve as the chair, with the second serving as the vice chair. Any vacancies that have occurred in any committees after members have been appointed will be filled by the President.[4]

DocumentIcon.jpg See rules: Senate Rules


A committee of the Senate shall report on the sufficiency of the titles of all bills and resolutions before their being put on final passage; and it shall be in order, before the passage of every bill or resolution, to move to commit or recommit for report upon the sufficiency of the title. Titles shall indicate clearly the subject matter of the proposed legislation.[5][6]
(2) The Rules Committee shall, in addition to the functions of a standing committee and any other responsibilities assigned by the Senate, perform the following duties:

(a) Conduct the business affairs of the Senate;
(b) Pursuant to authority granted in Section 29-5-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, assign such space in the Capitol or in such other buildings or parts thereof as may be reserved for the Senate and have complete control, authority and jurisdiction over such rooms, chambers, offices and other areas. Any assignment of space shall be subject to change by the Rules Committee. No other branch of the government, or a department or agency thereof, shall use any such room, chamber, office or other area without specific written authorization from the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee may delegate its powers with regard to any such room, chamber, office or other area in connection with the use, maintenance, repairing, construction, reconstruction and refurbishing thereof in such a manner as it deems advisable;
(c) Assign staff for interim and special committees;
(d) Assign staff for standing committees;
(e) Continually assess ways and means to improve the organization, procedures, facilities and working conditions of the Senate;
{f) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) for the staffing of the office of the President and the office of the President Pro Tempore, have the authority to employ all personnel necessary to execute the duties and responsibilities of the Senate. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the Rules Committee shall have full and exclusive authority over the Secretary, other officials and employees of the Senate, and all such officials and personnel shall serve at the pleasure of the Rules Committee. Complaints with respect to any misconduct, inefficiency or omission by the Secretary, officials or employees of the Senate shall be heard by the Rules Committee which may discharge the Secretary, officials or employees therefor;
(g) Fix the salaries of the Senate officials and employees;
(h) Assign news, radio and television reporters wishing to take down or broadcast the debates and proceedings of the Senate, places in the Senate so as not to interfere with the convenience of the Senate;
(i) Authorize the reimbursement of Senators and Senate officials and employees who are required to travel in the performance of their official duties. The Rules Committee may establish regulations governing such travel which include the prior approval of such travel by the Rules Committee. Senators attending out-of-state conventions or conferences at state expense shall make a report to the Senate, including the purpose, work and recommendations resulting from the out-of-state meeting attended. If more than one (1) Senator attends such convention or conference, one report may be made as the report of the delegation; and
(j) Upon request of the chairman of any standing or select committee of the Senate, authorize expenses, to include per diem, mileage, meals and lodging, to be paid for members attending the meeting of any such committee or subcommittee thereof during the period in which the Legislature is not in session. The Rules Committee may adopt rules and regulations concerning time, places and number of meetings that may be held for which members will be compensated, such rules and regulations to require prior approval of meetings in order for members to be compensated.

(3) The committee may designate the Secretary of the Senate to be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the duties assigned to the committee and for implementing the policies of the committee adopted pursuant to this rule.

(4) The committee shall function on a year-round basis; and, when the Legislature is not in session, members of the committee shall be compensated as provided in Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, for each day spent in actual discharge of their duties and shall receive the expense allowance and mileage reimbursement provided in Section 5-1-47, Mississippi Code of 1972. No committee member may incur per diem, travel or expense allowance unless authorized by vote at a meeting of the committee, which action shall be recorded in the official minutes of the committee. The Rules Committee shall meet at such times as are necessary for the proper exercise of its functions and may adopt rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the rules of the Senate, as it deems necessary for the efficient operation of the committee. Action by a majority vote of the Rules Committee shall be conclusive on any matter properly within the jurisdiction of the committee.

(5) (a) In providing for the staffing of the President's office, the Rules Committee shall fill up to six (6) positions when requested by the President, and the persons employed for such positions shall be hired with the approval of the President. The President shall recommend the compensation to be paid to the President's staff, and the Rules Committee may pay the compensation so established.
(b) In providing for the staffing of the President Pro Tempore's office, the Rules Committee shall fill one (1) staff position as requested by the President Pro Tempore, and the person employed for such position shall be hired with the approval of the President Pro Tempore. The President Pro Tempore shall recommend the compensation to be paid to the person so employed, and the Rules Committee may pay the compensation so established.
(c) Persons employed under this subsection to staff the President's office shall serve at the will and pleasure of the President; persons employed to staff the President Pro Tempore's office shall serve at the will and pleasure of the President Pro Tempore.

(6) In providing for the staffing of committees, the Rules Committee shall have the responsibility for determining the necessity of any staff positions requested by the chairman of a committee.

(7) The Rules Committee shall cooperate with the House Management Committee in maintaining a Joint Legislative Printing Office and a reference library which shall contain, but shall not be limited to, study reports and information gathered by the departments and the various committees of the Legislature so as to provide a continuity of information from year to year.

(8) The Rules Committee shall have the responsibility for the proper operation of the Senate Legislative Services Office.

(9) The Rules Committee shall have jurisdiction over any questions concerning improper or unethical conduct by members of the Senate.

(10) The funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this rule shall be paid from the Senate Contingent Fund.

(11) The Rules Committee may meet jointly with the House Management Committee when necessary to more effectively carry out the provisions of this rule.[7][6]


2015 legislative session

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

Rules Members, 2015
Democratic members (1)Republican members (4)
John HorhnGiles Ward, Chair
Terry Burton
Billy Hudson
Gray Tollison

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