House Republicans are taking the opportunity to make some permanent changes to the rules now that they’re in the majority.
Some of the changes are to be expected, including switching committee names to match up with the new reconfigured Republican House roster and adding the new floor session convening time of 3 p.m.
Here’s a rundown of some of the more interesting changes:
Republicans decided to remove a provision that allowed the Rules Committee to set time limits for debate. This follows suit with earlier remarks by leadership that they would not stifle debate from the DFL.
It was a soft rule that legislators who were not seeking reelection or lost in November had to be out of their offices by mid-December, but Republicans want to put the date in the rulebook. The change would require members who are not seeking re-election to vacate their offices by Dec. 1, and those who lost their elections to be out by Dec. 15. This change could have been prompted by some slow moving last December after the Republican takeover of both chambers.
Republicans want to change the rules to prevent an employee of House Research from representing the House or its members in court. Republicans were upset during the 2010 session when DFLers ordered the nonpartisan House Research staffers to write an amicus brief in support of the court case against Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s unallotments.
The changes will be up for a vote on the House floor Thursday.
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