126th Rules of Decorum
The following are rules governing decorum in the Senate Chamber:
- Senators should be appropriately attired on session days. Men are expected to wear a jacket and tie.
- No food or beverages are allowed in the chamber at any time, unless required for medical purposes.
- Only Senators and Senate staff are allowed in the well of the chamber 15 minutes prior to the posted beginning of session.
- Senators may not be directly approached, except by chamber staff, during session.
- Senators will refrain from reading newspapers during session.
- Senators will not engage in hobbies or crafts (knitting, needlepoint, etc.) during session.
- Senators will refrain from using the telephones at the front of the chamber during session, including when the bell is ringing to call the body to order.
- Senators will move to the rear of the chamber to conduct conversations. All discussions should be conducted in a tone that is not disruptive. The presiding officer reserves the right to ask members to take their discussions to the hall.
- Members of the public and the lobby must hand their messages for Senators to a doorkeeper for delivery. To avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, Senators should strongly discourage the lobby from sending messages to them during session.
- All public announcements and notices to be distributed in the chamber must be stamped with a Senators’ name authorizing distribution.
- Talking on cell phones or other electronic communication devices is not permitted while the Senate is in session.
- Personal computers may be used while the Senate is in session. The presiding officer reserves the right to request that a Senator refrain from use during session.
- Pagers, cell phones, PDA’s and computers should be turned off or placed in silent mode while the Senate is in session.
- Buttons or stickers of a political nature may not be worn in the Senate.
- Outdoor headwear should be removed when entering the Senate Chamber.
- Props in any form are prohibited during session or debate.