SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee

Since its creation, members of the Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations (FAGO) Committee have focused on the myriad fiscal issues impacting state budgets and finances. In the current era of depleted budgets and dwindling revenues, members of the FAGO Committee have explored the experiences of their Southern state counterparts in devising strategies in their own states. The Committee’s membership includes many of the finance and appropriations chairs from across the South along with other prominent fiscal players, both legislators and legislative staff, in the different state legislatures. The Committee routinely examines the impact of the federal budget on state finances; revenue forecasting in the 15 member states; healthcare reform; state fiscal trends; performance-based budgeting; e-commerce and taxation; and public pension plans. In an effort to bolster ties between the South and the Federal Reserve Bank, the Committee has featured presentation on national and regional economic trends from the presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis.

2018
Acting Chair

Representative
Penny Houston

Georgia

2017-18
Vice Chair

Vacant

Immediate
Past Chair

Representative
Eric Johnson

Texas

Committee
Liaison

Cody Allen

Cody Allen
Policy Analyst

Recent Research


Policy Analysis | April 25, 2018

Chamber Vote Adjustment in the South

Multiple Authors

Of the 30 legislative chambers in the South, 25 chambers allow members to adjust their vote after the initial vote has been taken, either by rule or custom. The reasons for permitting a vote adjustment vary among chambers, with several chambers allowing members to change their votes when the vote was recorded incorrectly or the member voted erroneously, while other chambers only will permit a vote change prior to the announcement of the vote. Furthermore, 26 chambers have rules addressing a member’s ability—or lack thereof—to change their vote, while four chambers operate based on custom. There is no rule regarding vote adjustment in either chamber of the Arkansas General Assembly. However, the rules for both Arkansas chambers state that Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure—followed by 70 of the 99 state legislatures in the United States—shall be followed for all matters not covered by chamber rules. Mason’s Manual permits a member to change their vote after the roll call is completed, but before the vote is announced. This brief report examines rules or customs regarding chamber vote adjustment. When available, the text of the rule excerpted from the state source and a link to chamber rules are provided.

Chamber Vote Adjustment in the South
State/Chamber Are legislators permitted to adjust their vote? Rule or custom regarding chamber vote adjustment
Alabama
House
No. Custom: Members may file a statement indicating that they mistakenly selected the wrong choice. This statement is registered in the House Journal, but does not change the vote.
Alabama
Senate
Yes, until the Senate Journal is prepared for the day. Custom: Votes may be changed until the Senate Journal is prepared for the day.
Arkansas
House
Yes, prior to the announcement of the vote. Arkansas House Rule 31: In every case not provided for in the House rules, the speaker, the parliamentarian, and the members shall be guided by Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure. Each member of the Rules Committee may be furnished a copy of the current edition and of each new or revised edition of Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure and additional copies may be available to other members from the Parliamentarian, upon approval of the Rules Committee.

Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure, Section 535(6): After the roll call has been completed, but before the vote is announced, a member may arise and address the presiding officer and, upon being recognized, may change his vote by saying, “aye to no” or the reverse. It is not out of order for a member to change his vote without waiting to be recognized by the presiding officer, but the best practice is to secure recognition before changing the vote. After the vote has been announced, it is too late to vote or to change a vote.

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Policy Analysis | September 21, 2017

SLC Member State Revenue Increases

Nick Bowman

Despite its official end in 2010, the lingering effects of the Great Recession still are felt in states across the nation. Several SLC member states have been forced to make difficult decisions throughout a sluggish recovery. Alabama, Oklahoma and West Virginia, for example, have faced considerable budget shortfalls and had to cut services and/or raise taxes and fees to balance their budgets. This analysis focuses on statewide revenue enhancements passed by SLC member states in 2016 and 2017; county-level and municipality-level increases have been excluded. Statewide revenue increases adopted in 2015, but implemented in 2016 and 2017, also are included.

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Policy Analysis | April 27, 2017

Bill Introduction Limits and Pre-Filing Requirements in SLC Member States

Nick Bowman

Introduction

In recent years, several states and legislative chambers have created a limit on the number of bills that may be introduced each legislative session. Proponents have argued that this will force legislators to only introduce legislation that is likely to pass and may decrease the need for longer sessions or special sessions. In some chambers, the limit only applies after the chamber’s pre-filing deadline. Table 1 displays the limits placed on legislation introduced each session in the 15 Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) member states. Six SLC member states apply a limit in at least one of their legislative chambers.

Table 1. Limits on Bills Introduced Per Session in SLC Member States
State/Chamber Limit on Legislation Introduced Per Session
Alabama No limit
Arkansas No limit
Florida House Six bills per member
Florida Senate No limit
Georgia No limit
Kentucky No limit
Louisiana Five bills that were not pre-filed
Mississippi No limit
Missouri No limit
North Carolina House 15 bills per member
North Carolina Senate No limit
Oklahoma House Eight bills or joint resolutions per member *
Oklahoma Senate No limit
South Carolina No limit
Tennessee House 15 bills per member
Tennessee Senate No limit
Texas No limit
Virginia House 15 per member in odd-numbered years; five non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline
Virginia Senate Eight non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline

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More SLC Research into Government Operations


Policy Analysis | November 14, 2016

Outside Legal Counsel in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | June 19, 2015

State Purchasing Regulations and Reform

Comparative Data Report | June 12, 2015

Revenue

Policy Analysis | February 27, 2015

How Do States Regulate Combat Sports?

Policy Analysis | January 26, 2015

State Occupational Boards and Commissions Fees

Comparative Data Report | October 1, 2014

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2013

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | October 16, 2012

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | October 1, 2011

Revenue

Policy Analysis | December 22, 2010

Census Results and State Implications

Policy Analysis | November 9, 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

Policy Analysis | October 25, 2010

Permanent Property Rights Task Forces

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Revenue

Presentation | February 3, 2010

State Unemployment Insurance: Recent Trends

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2009

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2008

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2004

Judicial Selection Methods in the Southern States

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2002

A Review of Southern States' No-Call Registries

SLC Special Series Report | February 1, 2002

Election Policies and Reform in Southern States 2001

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Revenue

SLC Special Series Report | August 1, 2000

Drawing the Map: Redistricting in the South