The Government Class Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Government Class Book.

Sec.6.  The other officers chosen by each house are, a clerk to keep a record or journal of its proceedings; to take charge of papers, and to read such as are to be read to the house; and to do such other things as may be required of him; a sergeant-at-arms, to arrest members and other persons guilty of disorderly conduct, to compel the attendance of absent members, and to do other business of a like nature:  also one or more door-keepers.  The officers mentioned in this section are not chosen from the members of the house.

Sec.7.  The constitution does not prescribe to either house the order of business, or the particular manner in which it shall be done; but authorizes each house to determine for itself the rules of its proceedings.  But there are sundry things which it expressly enjoins.  It determines what portion of the members shall constitute a quorum to do business. Quorum is the Latin of the English words, of whom, and has strangely come to signify the number or portion of any body of men who have power to act for the whole.  Thus with reference to a legislative body consisting of a certain number of members, instead of saying, A majority quorum shall have power to act; or, A majority of whom shall have power to act, our constitutions generally say, A majority shall constitute a quorum to do business.  In some states, more than a bare majority is required for a quorum.

Sec.8.  Constitutions generally require also that the proceedings of legislative bodies shall be open to public inspection.  The doors may be closed against spectators only when the public good shall require secrecy.  And that the people may be fully informed of what is done, each house is required to keep and publish a journal of its proceedings.

Sec.9.  Provision is also made, either by the constitution or by laws against injury or interruption to the business of the legislature.  Members may not, by any prosecution at law, except for crimes and misdemeanors, be hindered during their attendance at the sessions of the legislature, nor in going to or returning from the same.  Each house may compel the attendance of absent members.  It may for good cause expel a member, and punish, not only its members and officers, but other persons, for disorderly conduct, or for obstructing its proceedings.

Chapter XI.

Manner of Enacting Laws.

Sec.1.  When the two houses are duly organized and ready for business, the governor sends to both houses a written communication called message, in which, as the constitution requires, he gives to the legislature information of the condition of the affairs of the state, and recommends such measures as he judges necessary and expedient.  The message is read to each house by its clerk.

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The Government Class Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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