8 Little Rules The House Had to Break to Pass a Lottery

November 9th, 2005 by
  1. Constitutional Requirement that third reading be on a different day – Article II, Section 23
  2. Constitutional Requirement that on third reading the “yeas” and “nays” be entered on the journal. Article II, Section 23.
  3. Refusal to recognize members under Rule 24(a), who want to call for yeas and noes to be entered on the journal as provided in the Constitution Article II, Section 19.
  4. House Rules require third reading on a different day – Rule 41(b) unless 2/3 agree to vote twice on the same day.
  5. Inclusion in conference report of material not in either house or senate version – Rule 44(b) (e.g. the school construction proceeds distribution formula which is grossly prejudicial to Wake County and 40 other counties)
  6. Refusal to recognize points of order, Rule 21(c)
  7. Rule 26.1 and 26.A Select Committee to reflect the partisan membership of the House (63-57). This Lottery Select Committee was 12-4 Democrat and 15-1 pro lottery.
  8. Closing debate without a vote of the House – Rule 19(a) provides that “only” certain members may call for end of debate and it requires a majority vote of the House to implement.


Constitution Article II, Section 19: Record votes – Upon motion made in either house and seconded by one fifth of the members present, the yeas and nays upon any question shall be taken and entered upon the journal.

Constitution Article II, Section 23: Revenue Bills – No law shall be enacted to raise money on the credit of the State, or to pledge the faith of the State directly or indirectly for the payment of any debt, or to impose any tax upon the people of the State, or to allow the counties, cities, or towns to do so, unless the bill for the purpose shall have been read three several times in each house of the General Assembly and passed three several readings, which readings shall have been on three different days, and shall have been agreed to by each house respectively, and unless the yeas and nays on the second and third readings of the bill shall have been entered on the journal. (Because the lottery states that its purpose is to “generate funds” and subjects prizes to the income tax, and because its proponents think this will be about $400 million/year, Supreme Court precedent is that it is subject to this section.)

Rule 19(a): Previous Question (a) The previous question may be called only by: (1) The Chair of the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House; (2) The member submitting the report on the bill or other matter under consideration; (3) The member introducing the bill or other matter under consideration; (4) The member in charge of the measure, who shall be designated by the chair of the standing committee or permanent subcommittee reporting the same to the House at the time the bill or other matter under consideration is reported to the House or taken up for consideration; (b) The previous question shall be as follows: “Call for the previous question having been made, is the call sustained?” When the call for the previous question has been decided in the affirmative by a majority vote of the House, the question is on the passage of the bill, resolution, or other matter under consideration.

Rule 21(c): Voice, Votes; Stating Questions (c) No statement, explanation, debate, motion, parliamentary inquiry, or point of order shall be allowed once the voice vote has begun. Any point of order or parliamentary inquiry may be raised, however, after the completion of the vote.

Rule 24 (a): Roll Call Vote (a) Before a question is put, any member may call for the ayes and noes. If the call is sustained by one-fifth of the members present, the question shall be decided by the ayes and noes upon a roll call vote.

Rule 26(c): Standing Committees and Permanent Subcommittees generally (b) The Speaker shall appoint the members of all standing committees having no permanent subcommittees at the beginning of the first regular session in a manner to reflect the partisan membership of the House.

Rule 26.1: Mentions of Standing Committee Includes Select Committee. – Any reference in these rules to standing committees shall extend to select committees unless the context requires otherwise.

Rule 41(b): Reading of Bills (c) No bill shall be read more than once on the same day without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present and voting; provided, no bill governed by Article II, Section 23 of the North Carolina Constitution or described in Rule 20(a)(2) herein shall be read twice on one day under any circumstance.

Rule 44(b): Conference Standing Committees (b) Only such matters as are in difference between the two houses shall be considered by the conferees, and the conference report shall deal only with such matters.

The writer represents Southern Wake County in the North Carolina House of Representatives.