Rules of Decorum in the Senate Chamber

Senate Chamber
126th Rules of Decorum

The following are rules governing decorum in the Senate Chamber:

  1. Senators should be appropriately attired on session days. Men are expected to wear a jacket and tie.
  1. No food or beverages are allowed in the chamber at any time, unless required for medical purposes.
  1. Only Senators and Senate staff are allowed in the well of the chamber 15 minutes prior to the posted beginning of session.
  1. Senators may not be directly approached, except by chamber staff, during session.
  1. Senators will refrain from reading newspapers during session.
  1. Senators will not engage in hobbies or crafts (knitting, needlepoint, etc.) during session.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. All public announcements and notices to be distributed in the chamber must be stamped with a Senators’ name authorizing distribution.
  1. Talking on cell phones or other electronic communication devices is not permitted while the Senate is in session.
  1. 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.
  1. Pagers, cell phones, PDA’s and computers should be turned off or placed in silent mode while the Senate is in session.
  1. Buttons or stickers of a political nature may not be worn in the Senate.
  1. Outdoor headwear should be removed when entering the Senate Chamber.
  1.  Props in any form are prohibited during session or debate.

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