Rules of the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments *
The name of this organization shall be the Southern Legislative Conference (Conference) of The Council of State Governments. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, hereinafter referred to as "member states," comprise the Conference.
II. Purposes and Objectives
The purposes and objectives of the Conference shall be to foster and encourage intergovernmental cooperation in the South through joint consideration of common problems and timely subjects, interchange of information, sharing of knowledge and experience and, where desirable, development of joint programs, to the end that our member states may continue to be a strong and effective part of the American federal system.
Membership in this Conference shall consist of those legislators appointed to the Executive Committee by each member states’ House and Senate appointing authorities; those legislators and legislative staff appointed to the standing committees by each member state House and Senate appointing authorities; each member state House and Senate appointing authority and presiding officer; and all past Chairs of the Conference, so long as they remain a legislator of a member state. Appointments may be made for one- or two-year terms and are made on a calendar year basis. Vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee and standing committees may be filled at the discretion of the appointing authority.
IV. Participation in Conference Activities
All elected and appointed government officials and their staff of the member states shall be eligible to participate in Conference activities.
V. Executive Committee
Section 1 — Composition
There shall be a Southern Legislative Conference Executive Committee which shall consist of each member state House and Senate appointing authority and presiding officer; two legislators appointed to the Executive Committee by each member state House and Senate appointing authority; and all past Chairs of the Conference, so long as they remain a legislator of a member state. In addition, the chair of each standing committee established by the Conference shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.
Section 2 — Responsibilities
The Executive Committee serves as the Conference’s governing authority and shall have general responsibility for the management of the Conference, the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments, and their activities. The Executive Committee shall review and approve the annual budget of the Southern Office. The Executive Committee shall, as necessary, review the performance of each standing committee and may establish ad hoc task forces, contingent upon available resources, which shall sunset after a one-year term unless renewed by the Executive Committee. It shall delegate to the regional director the authority to implement, supervise and make the necessary arrangements, in conjunction with the respective Host State, for the Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.
Section 3 — Officers
Officers of the Executive Committee shall be a Chair, Chair Elect, and Vice Chair who shall be elected from among the membership of the Executive Committee at each Annual Meeting and shall serve as Conference officers until the close of the next Annual Meeting.
Section 4 — Responsibilities of Conference Officers
Conference officers shall provide oversight on matters pertaining to the regional director and the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments, as defined in The Council of State Governments’ Articles of Organization, and shall delegate to the regional director authority for day-to-day operations, including personnel and fiscal management, of the Southern Office.
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee during the Annual Meeting and shall perform the usual duties pertaining to the office. As may be specified by the Articles of Organization of The Council of State Governments, the Chair of the Conference shall make the necessary appointments to CSG committees on an annual basis.
The Chair Elect and the Vice Chair shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by the Chair. Whenever the Chair is unable to serve, the Chair Elect shall exercise the authority and perform the duties of the office of the Chair. If the Chair and Chair Elect are unable to serve, the Vice Chair shall exercise the authority and perform the duties of the office of the Chair.
Section 5 — Vacancies of Conference Officers
If a vacancy occurs for any reason among the officers of the Conference, the duties of the vacated position shall be performed on an interim basis by the remaining officers until the next election of Conference officers.
Section 6 — Process for the Removal of Conference Officers
With prior written notice and opportunity to respond, any SLC officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the voting member state House and Senate chambers. A motion to remove an officer must be submitted to the regional director by a member of the Executive Committee with cause. The regional director will forward this motion to the Executive Committee as a whole within five business days.
The officer in question has 10 days to respond in writing to the motion. Should the officer choose to challenge the motion for removal, the officer may submit a response to the Executive Committee, which shall meet, either in person or electronically, to discuss and vote on the motion. The Executive Committee shall vote upon the motion at the conclusion of its meeting and the vote is binding. Each state shall be entitled to one vote per each House and Senate chamber, to be cast as its members shall determine.
Affirmative action shall require a two-thirds majority of all voting member state House and Senate chambers.
The Conference shall hold an Annual Meeting and such other meetings as the Executive Committee shall determine. Opportunity shall be provided at a plenary session of the Annual Meeting for conducting Conference business.
VII. Nominating Committee
On the opening day of each Annual Meeting, the Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee, which shall be drawn from Conference legislator members present from the member states. The Nominating Committee shall report at a plenary session for conducting Conference business during the Annual Meeting. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to bring in nominations for the offices of Chair, Chair Elect and Vice Chair.
VIII. Standing Committees
Section 1 — Definition
There shall be no more than six standing committees of the Conference. Each standing committee shall meet during the Annual Meeting of the Conference. Each committee shall submit a report to the Executive Committee and the leadership of each House and Senate in the Conference following the Annual Meeting.
Section 2 — Composition
The membership of standing committees shall be constituted by direct appointment from the appointing authorities of each House and Senate in the Conference with such appointments invited annually by the Conference Chair or the Chair’s designee. Appointing authorities may appoint up to five members and two legislative staff members to each standing committee, excepting the Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee for which a maximum of seven members and three legislative staff members may be appointed.
Section 3 — Officers
All standing committees shall elect their own officers for the positions of chair and vice chair at the Annual Meeting. Committee chairs may serve a maximum of two consecutive one-year terms. If the chair of a standing committee is unable to serve, the vice chair shall exercise the authority and perform the duties of the office of the chair as acting chair. If the vice chair is unable to serve in the capacity of acting chair, the Conference Officers will perform the duties of the standing committee chair.
IX. Staff Section
There shall be a Legislative Service Agency Directors Group of the Conference whose membership shall include professional staff directors from member state legislatures. The Legislative Service Agency Directors Group shall meet during the Annual Meeting of the Conference.
X. Policy Positions
Each of the Conference’s six standing committees may adopt one policy position during the Annual Meeting, unless permission to adopt more than one policy position is granted by the Executive Committee. Only legislator members of the Conference may submit a proposed policy position. Proposed policy positions shall address a single topic and be received by the Conference’s regional director not less than 21 calendar days prior to the first day of the Annual Meeting. Proposed policy positions shall then be assigned and disseminated to one of the Conference’s relevant standing committees for review and action during the Annual Meeting. If a standing committee is assigned multiple proposed policy positions, only one may be adopted. Legislator sponsor(s) of a proposed policy position, or their designated legislator proxy, must be present to support the proposed policy position when it is considered by the standing committee; otherwise, the proposed policy position will be tabled. If approved by a Conference standing committee, the standing committee chair, or their designated legislator proxy, shall present the policy position to the Executive Committee at the final Executive Committee session. Unless otherwise stipulated, a policy position adopted by a standing committee shall become the policy of the Conference and sunset the first day of the following Annual Meeting. Policy positions may, as directed by the Executive Committee, be promptly disseminated to the appropriate state and/or federal government officials.
During the interim between Annual Meetings, a proposed policy position submitted by a legislator member of the Conference of an emergency nature, as determined by the Chair, shall be transmitted promptly by the Conference staff to all of the members of the appropriate Conference committee as determined by the Chair and to the Executive Committee. Voting shall be in accordance with Rule XI. Voting, Section 2 — Interim Procedure.
Section 1 — Annual Meeting
All members of the Conference are eligible to vote on motions, election of officers and other business of the Conference and its committees. Voting shall be by voice vote, except when a roll call vote is requested by a member or at the discretion of the Conference Chair or committee presiding officer during committee meetings. In such case each state shall be entitled to one vote per each House and Senate chamber represented, to be cast as its members present shall determine, and affirmative action shall require a majority of all voting member state House and Senate chambers which have Conference members present. Proxy voting shall not be allowed; however, if a state's House or Senate member cannot attend a meeting, the appointing authority may, in writing, designate a legislator to attend that specific meeting with voting privileges.
Section 2 — Interim Procedure
During the interim between Annual Meetings, the Executive Committee shall be authorized to act in behalf of the Conference. The Chair shall have the Executive Committee members polled and each state shall be entitled to one vote per each House and Senate chamber, to be cast as its members shall determine. Interim voting by the Executive Committee may be transmitted electronically. Such transmissions must be received by the regional director by a reasonable date determined by the Conference Chair or his or her designee. Affirmative action shall require a majority of all voting member state House and Senate chambers.
Section 3 — Quorum
A quorum for the purpose of voting will consist of representation from the majority (half plus one) of the member state chambers.
XII. Conference Staff
The Southern Office of The Council of State Governments shall serve as the Conference staff. Conference staff also shall provide such assistance to the officers, Executive Committee, Host State, and committees of the Conference as shall forward the purposes and objectives of the Conference.
XIII. Regional Nomination and Rotation of Legislative Officers to The Council of State Governments
The Conference shall submit a nominee selected from the Conference membership for the position of CSG National Vice Chair once every four years. The nominee shall be elected by the Executive Committee at the Annual Meeting preceding the CSG national conference in the year the post is slated to be filled. The name of the regional nominee shall be forwarded to the CSG executive director at least two weeks prior to the convening of the CSG Executive Committee.
The Rules of the Conference, and any amendments thereto, may be amended at any Annual Meeting in accordance with Rule XI. Voting.
Section 1 — Annual Meeting.
Between Annual Meetings, the Executive Committee is authorized by the Conference to amend the Rules. Voting shall be in accordance with Rule XI. Voting.
Section 2 — Interim Procedure.
However, such amendments are interim in nature and must be ratified by the Conference at the next Annual Meeting.
* Adopted July 26, 1962, Biloxi, Mississippi. Amended July 22, 1966, Houston, Texas; July 24, 1968, Biloxi, Mississippi; July 30, 1969, Mobile, Alabama; June 24, 1970, Williamsburg, Virginia; July 28, 1972, Savannah, Georgia; July 19, 1973, Hot Springs, Arkansas; July 19, 1974, San Antonio, Texas; July 22, 1977, Charleston, South Carolina; August 16, 1980, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; August 20, 1981, Charlotte, North Carolina; September 1, 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana; July 20, 1983, Savannah, Georgia; July 24, 1985, Biloxi, Mississippi; August 24, 1988, Lexington, Kentucky; July 25, 1990, Asheville, North Carolina; July 14, 1993, Mobile Alabama; August 16, 1995, Tulsa, Oklahoma; August 13, 1996, Nashville, Tennessee; August 12, 1998, Charleston, South Carolina; August 8, 2000, Biloxi, Mississippi; August 7, 2002, New Orleans, Louisiana; August 2, 2005, Mobile Alabama; July 17, 2007, Williamsburg, Virginia; August 3, 2010, Charleston, South Carolina; Mobile, Alabama, July 30, 2013; and Biloxi, Mississippi, August 1, 2017.