If you paid any attention to today’s South Carolina Senate Finance
Committee meetings to discuss budget provisos, on more than one occasion you
heard a Senator say that, “We need to apply Rule 24,” and the discussion was
What do you mean you don’t know what Rule 24 is? Everybody knows
what Rule 24 is. Don’t they?
No, and they shouldn’t be expected to.
Here’s what South Carolina Senate Rule 24 (Part A) says:
A. Clauses in Bill Must Be Germane
shall be inserted in a Bill or Resolution unless the same is germane to the
Bill or Resolution. In order to be germane, an amendment must be a natural and
logical change or expansion directly related to the specific subject of the
Bill or Resolution, as defined in the Bill or Resolution, and must not raise
any new or independent matter different from the specific subject of the Bill
or Resolution. Any perfecting amendment must be germane to both the amendment
to be perfected and the underlying Bill or Resolution and must not offer a new
proposition or substantially alter the main amendment.
is germane to the subject of the General Appropriation Bill and any
Supplemental Appropriation Bill shall be defined as those things which
reasonably, specifically, and inherently directly relate to the raising or
spending of revenue for or in the fiscal year for which the bill applies and do
not temporarily or permanently add, amend, or repeal a portion of the general
permanent laws of South Carolina. Nothing in this paragraph prohibits the
temporary suspension of any permanent law.
provisions of this rule must be strictly construed.
So, what does
surface, it makes sense. It says if you have an amendment to a piece of
legislation in the Senate (this rule doesn’t apply in the SC House), your
amendment has to relate to the legislation you’re amending. What is really does
is often allow the Senate (even just one Senator) to technically kill an amendment
instead of taking an up-and-down vote on the amendment.
Use the rules
to your advantage.