Legislative Glossary

Term Definition Acronym
Term:
Secretary of the Senate
Definition:
The constitutional officer designated by the Senate to record its proceedings and assist Senate officers, members, and staff in the detailed processes of lawmaking.
Term:
Select Committee
Definition:
A committee created for the purpose of studying or investigating a specific matter within a specified time period.
Term:
Sergeant at Arms
Definition:

The Chamber officer charged with enforcing the directions of the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives as to security and decorum in the Chamber and committee meetings.

Term:
Session
Definition:
The term is used to refer both to a particular day's meeting of the House or the Senate and to the entire period for which the Legislature has been convened. There are five types of session that may be convened: executive, extended, joint, organization, regular, and special.
Executive Session: A session excluding from the chamber or committee room all persons other than members and essential staff personnel. Section 4(b) of Article III of the State Constitution provides that the Senate may resolve itself into executive session for the sole purpose of considering a person's appointment to office or removal or suspension from office.
Extended Session: A regular or special session that has been prolonged beyond its allocated time in order to complete action on introduced legislation. Extension of a session requires a three-fifths vote by members in each house.
Joint Session: The annual session held the first day of a regular session in the House Chamber and attended by members of both houses, the Governor, the Cabinet, members of the Supreme Court, and invited guests. During this session, the Governor informs the Legislature concerning the condition of the state, proposes such reorganization of the executive department as will promote efficiency and economy, and recommends measures in the public interest. Joint sessions are also held on other occasions.
Organization Session: Section 3(a) of Article III of the State Constitution directs the Legislature to convene on the 14th day after the general election, solely for the purpose of organization and election of officers.
Regular Session: The annual session that begins on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, or such other date as may be fixed by law, of each even-numbered year, for a period not to exceed 60 consecutive days. There is no limit on the subject matter that may be introduced in a regular session.
Special Session: Special sessions may be called by Proclamation of the Governor, by Joint Proclamation of the House Speaker and the Senate President, or by the members of the Legislature for the purpose of considering specific legislation and shall not exceed 20 consecutive days unless extended by a three-fifths vote of each house. In order for members of the Legislature to call a special session, three-fifths of the members of both houses must vote in favor of calling a special session.
Term:
Similar Bill
Definition:
As used in bill history, companion bills that are substantially similar in text or have substantial portions of text that are largely the same.
Term:
Single-subject Rule
Definition:

Section 6 of Article III of the State Constitution requires that every law shall embrace but one subject and matter properly connected therewith.

Term:
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Definition:
The presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is elected by the full membership of the House of Representatives for a term of two years.
Term:
Speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives
Definition:

A member of the House of Representatives who is designated by the majority party in caucus and then elected by the body. The Speaker pro tempore presides over the House of Representatives at the request or in the absence of the Speaker.

Term:
Special Order Calendar
Definition:
A list of bills determined to be of high priority and scheduled for consideration in a specific sequence during a floor session on a particular day. This list is taken up during the Order of Business of Special Orders.
Term:
Sponsor
Definition:
The legislator or committee that files a bill for introduction. The sponsor's name appears first on the bill and on any material dealing with the bill. A cosponsor is a legislator who signs a bill in addition to the sponsor.
Term:
Standing Committee
Definition:
A committee appointed by the respective presiding officer and given a continuing responsibility over legislation covering specific subject matters.
Term:
Subcommittee
Definition:
A subset of members from a committee which performs duties as requested by a committee.
Term:
Sine Die
Definition:
Latin for without day. The motion to "adjourn sine die" is the last action of a session of the Legislature. Each house may adjourn on its own motion.