The Council of State Governments
CSG East | CSG Midwest | CSG West
Federal Affairs | Justice Center | Affiliates

Sign up for our emails!

PROPOSED REVISIONS
TO THE RULES OF THE
SOUTHERN LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS*
JULY 2013

Recent revisions to The Council of State Governments’ Articles of Organization, the umbrella organization of the Southern Legislative Conference, required the SLC Rules be updated. A panel of legislators working with SLC staff made revisions to the rules of the SLC to conform with the new articles of organization and to provide clarity. Copies of the proposed revisions will be available on-site at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Mobile, Alabama prior to their consideration for adoption at the Closing Plenary and Business Session.

(removed language struckthrough | new language in red

I.          Name -- The name of this organization shall be the Southern Legislative Conference (Conference) of The Council of State Governments.  It comprises the jurisdictions of 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.

III.       Membership -- Membership in this Conference shall consist of those legislators appointed to the Executive Committee by each member states’ House and Senate appointing authorities; and those legislators and legislative staff appointed to the standing committees by each member states’ respective 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. in meetings and may be invited to participate in other activities of the Conference.

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.

those legislators appointed to the Executive Committee the Chairman, Chairman Elect, First  Vice Chairman and, when deemed appropriate, a Second Vice Chairman, officers who currently hold the position of Chairman Elect, First Vice Chairman and Second Vice Chairman of the Conference, so long as they remain a member of the legislative body of their respective state, all past Chairmen of the Conference, so long as they remain a member of the legislative body of their respective state, and two legislators from each member state who shall be named in such manner and for such term as the state's House and Senate appointing authorities shall determine. The Conference Executive Committee membership shall also include the presiding officers of the House and Senate in each member state.  A state’s appointing authority may name an alternate legislator for each legislator appointed.  In addition, the cChairman of each standing committee established by the Conference shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.  Vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee shall be filled by each member state in the manner indicated in the first paragraph of this Rule.

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 meet at the call of the Chairman, and shall have general responsibility for the management of the Conference and its interim activities.  It The Executive Committee shall, as necessary, review the performance of each standing committee and may establish needed ad hoc task forces, contingent upon available resources, which shall sunset after a one-year term unless renewed by the Executive Committee. committees during the interim between Annual Meetings.  It shall select the date and place of the Annual Meeting and, with advice of the Host State and the assistance of the Conference staff, shall make, implement, and supervise plans and arrangements for the Annual Meeting and such other meetings of the Conference as may be held. 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.

Vacancies occurring on the Executive Committee shall be filled by each member state in the manner indicated in the first paragraph of this Rule.  There shall be a Southern Legislative Conference Management Committee appointed each year by the Conference Chairman.  Members of the Management Committee are to be the Conference Chairman and Chairman Elect in addition to three past Conference Chairmen designated by the sitting Chairman. The Management Committee shall have oversight of all personnel and assets of the Southern Legislative Conference.

VI.       Officers --

The officers of the Conference shall be a Chairman, a Chairman Elect, First Vice Chairman and, when deemed appropriate, a Second Vice Chairman, with consideration given to balancing party affiliation, all of whom shall be legislators, who shall be elected at each Annual Meeting and shall serve until the close of the next succeeding Annual Meeting and until their successors are chosen.  They shall be selected from among the Conference’s legislator membership.

 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 Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and during the Annual Meeting, of the Conference, and shall perform the usual duties pertaining to the office.  Except as otherwise provided, the Chairman shall appoint such committees as may be established.

As may be specified by the Articles of Organization and the Bylaws of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the Chairman of the Conference shall make the necessary appointments to CSG committees on an annual basis.

The Chairman Elect and the First Vice Chairman shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by the Chairman of the Executive Committee.  Whenever the Chairman is unable to serve, the Chairman Elect shall exercise the authority and perform the duties of the office of the ChairmanIf 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. In the interim between Annual Meetings, a vacancy in the office of Chairman Elect shall be filled by the First Vice Chairman.

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.

VIIVI. Meetings -- 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.

VIIIVII.Nominating and Policy Positions Committees -- On the opening day of each Annual Meeting, the Chairman shall appoint a Nominating Committee and a Policy Positions Committee, which shall be drawn from Conference legislator members present from the member states.  All said states represented by members at an Annual Meeting shall be represented on one or both of these committees.  These two committees shall report at a plenary session for conducting Conference business on the concluding day of during the Annual Meeting.  It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to bring in nominations for the offices of Chairman, Chairman Elect, First and Vice Chairman. and, when deemed appropriate, Second Vice Chairman

All proposed Policy Positions shall be submitted to the Policy Positions Committee in the following manner.  All proposed Policy Positions must be sponsored by a legislative member of the Southern Legislative Conference and shall have been received by the Conference’s executive director not less than twenty-one (21) calendar days prior to the first day on which the Annual Meeting is convened.  Any such proposed Policy Positions shall then be assigned to one or more of the Conference’s relevant standing committees for review and action at the Annual Meeting.  Once adopted by a Conference committee, such proposed Policy Positions are submitted to the Policy Positions Committee for consideration.  Unless otherwise stipulated, all Policy Positions of the Southern Legislative Conference shall be sunset one calendar year following adoption by the Conference.

IXVIII.            Standing Other Committees --

Section 1. Definition: There shall be no more than six standing committees of the Conference and an Executive Committee.  Each standing committee shall meet during at the Annual Meeting of the Conference.  Any other meeting shall require the approval of the Executive Committee; in an emergency, the Conference Chairman shall be authorized to grant such approval.

The Executive Committee shall continually review the performance of each standing committee.  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.each committee meeting.

The Executive Committee may establish other committees for study and other purposes and assign to them such duties and responsibilities as may be appropriate.  The Executive Committee shall review annually the work of such committees and the need for their continuation.

Section 2. Composition: The membership of standing committees shall be constituted by direct appointment from of the appointing authorities of each House and Senate in the Conference with such appointments invited annually by the Conference Chairman or the Chair’s designee.  Appointing authorities may appoint up to five members, and two legislative staff members to each standing Conference committee, excepting the Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee for which a maximum of seven members and three legislative staff members may be appointed.  The Conference officers and Executive Committee are empowered to represent the Conference during the interim between Annual Meetings in liaison relationships with all committees.

Section 3. Officers: All standing committees shall select elect their own officers for the positions of chairman and vice chairman at the Annual Meeting. and shall submit reports to the Conference at such time as the Executive Committee may direct.  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 -- All proposed policy positions must be sponsored by a legislator member of the Conference and shall have been received by the Conference’s regional director not less than 21 calendar days prior to the first day on which the Annual Meeting is convened.  Any such proposed policy positions shall then be assigned to one or more of the Conference’s relevant standing committees for review and action at the Annual Meeting.  If approved by a Conference standing committee, such proposed policy positions are submitted to the Policy Positions Committee for consideration and disposition.  Unless otherwise stipulated, all policy positions adopted by the Conference shall sunset the first day of the following Annual Meeting.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, Policy Positions by Conference committees shall be reported to the Executive Committee for placement on the agenda of the Annual Meeting for action.  Voting in such instances shall be in accord with Rule X. 

During the interim between Annual Meetings, when a Conference committee during a regularly called meeting of said committee deems a proposed  pPolicy pPosition submitted by a legislator member of the Conference to be of an emergency nature, as determined by the Chair, because of pending federal action or other urgent situation, copy of the Policy Position shall be transmitted promptly by the Conference staff to all of the members of the appropriate said Conference committee as determined by the Chair and to the Executive Committee.  The Chairman may then call a meeting of the Executive Committee or shall call such meeting if so required by one-third of the membership of the Executive Committee.  If no such meeting is called, the Chairman shall may have the Executive Committee members polled by telephone, mail or otherwise and the Executive Committee may act on such Policy Positions when so polled; provided, however, that such action through the polling of the membership of the Executive Committee shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of the total member states of the Conference. Voting shall be in accordance with Rule XII. Section 2: Interim Procedure.

XIX.    Voting --

Section 1: Annual Meeting:  All members of the Conference are eligible to vote on All action on pPolicy pPositions, motions, election of officers and or 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 state 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 of the voting member states 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: QuorumA quorum for the purpose of voting will consist of representation from the majority (half plus one) of the member state chambers.

XIIXIConference 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.

XII.XIV.Amendments -- The Rules of the Conference, and any amendments thereto, may be adopted, altered, amended, added to, or repealed at any Annual Meeting in accordance with Rule XII. Voting -- Section 1: Annual Meeting by a majority vote of all member states.  Between Annual Meetings, the Executive Committee is authorized by the Conference to amend the Rules.  Voting shall be in accordance with Rule XII. Voting -- Section 2: Interim Procedure Voting in such case shall be according to Rule X.  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; and August 3, 2010, Charleston, South Carolina.

Southern Legislative Conference and SLC are trademarks registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.