Today's Law As Amended


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ACA-25 State of emergency: remote legislative proceedings.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


That Section 21.5 is added to Article IV thereof, to read:

SEC. 21.5.
 (a) To conduct the business of the people and to maintain continuity of government, Members of the Legislature, through the use of technology and without being physically present in the State Capitol, may attend and vote remotely in a legislative proceeding, or vote by proxy in a legislative proceeding if authorized by their house pursuant to subdivision (h), during the pendency of a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor. A Member may attend and vote remotely, or vote by proxy as authorized, in a legislative proceeding pursuant to this section only if the state of emergency prevents the Member from safely attending the proceeding in person.
(b) For purposes of remote participation in a legislative proceeding during a state of emergency, the following shall apply:
(1) The vote of a Member remotely attending a proceeding shall have the same force and effect as if the Member were physically present in the State Capitol.
(2) A Member remotely attending a proceeding shall be included in the determination of a quorum.
(c) As used in this section, “state of emergency” means the existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State, or parts thereof, including, but not limited to, such conditions as an attack or probable or imminent attack by an enemy of the United States, fire, flood, storm, insurrection, earthquake, volcanic eruption, or pandemic or other public health emergency.
(d) The Legislature, or each house, shall choose technology to effectuate this section that furthers the goals of security, the integrity and efficiency of the legislative process, and accessibility for Members who participate in proceedings remotely and members of the public who seek to view proceedings conducted by remote participation.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, if one-fifth or more of the Members of a house are unable to attend a legislative proceeding during a state of emergency because they are deceased, disabled, or missing, a quorum of the house shall be established by a majority of its Members able to attend.
(f) The Legislature may provide by statute for the temporary filling of vacant offices of Members with pro tempore members in the event that one-fifth or more of the Members of a house are deceased, disabled, or missing during a state of emergency.
(g) A Member’s authorization to attend and vote remotely, and to vote by proxy if applicable, shall end upon the termination of the state of emergency.
(h) (1) The Legislature by concurrent resolution, or each house by separate resolutions, shall, by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring, adopt rules to implement this section before the end of the biennial legislative session in which this section takes effect, or before the end of the next biennial legislative session if this section takes effect between sessions. The Legislature or each house, as applicable, may amend rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph by subsequent resolution, by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring.
(2) A resolution adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall specify rules for remote attendance and voting, and shall include procedures for authenticating a Member’s remote attendance and voting. The resolution may permit Members to vote by proxy, in which case the resolution shall specify rules for this method of voting and shall include procedures for authenticating a Member’s proxy vote.
(3) Until a resolution described in paragraph (1) is adopted and applicable to a Member’s house, a Member may remotely attend and vote in proceedings as permitted by the Member’s house.