As President of the Senate, one the Lieutenant Governor duties is to interpret the Senate Rules and Reed’s Parliamentary Rules, which govern the Senate’s conduct and procedures. Questions regarding the rules typically arise when a senator rises to a point of inquiry. Before making parliamentary rulings, the Lieutenant Governor generally consults the two attorneys from the Office of the Senate Counsel, who sit on either side of him on the Senate’s rostrum.
The Lieutenant Governor will sometimes issue rulings from the rostrum shortly after the ruling is requested; in other instances, the Lieutenant Governor takes additional time to consider a question, conducting additional research and meeting with Senate counsel and his staff. A example of a question of parliamentary procedure that commonly arises during Senate debate is whether a proposed amendment to a bill is within the bill’s “scope and object,” because Senate Rule 66 prohibits an amendment to a bill from changing the scope and object of the bill.
Senate staff created a compilation of the many parliamentary rulings Lt. Governor Brad Owen issued during his 20 years of service presiding over the Senate. Lt. Governor Habib’s rulings since taking office in January 2017 are available here.