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Legislative Debate 


Committee Procedure

All Bills will begin their process in a topic based Committee.


The Committee’s goal is pass the most debatable to the Chamber Sessions.  Therefore, Bills in Committee are passed by ranking in 5 categories:

  • Debatability

  • Importance to the State of New Jersey

  • Feasibility

  • Evidence of Research

  • Presentation

Bills are ranked from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) on all 5 categories.  The top numerically ranked Bills from each Committee will then advance to Chambers.  


Step 1: Introduction of Bills: Chair announces the docket for the chamber session at the start of each session.  Debate proceeds in order of the docket unless changed by a motion.


Step 2: Bill Debate

  1. The Clerk reads the enactment clause and any amendments to the Bill

  2. The author of the Bill approaches the front of the room

  3. The author proceeds with their 2 minute opening statement

  4. Committee moves to a period of Non-debatable Technical Questions (NDTQs)

  5. Debate (3 con speakers and 3 pro speakers)

    1. The Chair will call on a con speaker followed by a pro speaker

  1. 2 minutes per speech

  2. Delegates may not yield on yielded time

  3. Procedural and substantive motions and points are in order

    1. Yield to Series of Questions

    2. Yield to a Fellow Delegate after speaking for one half their original time

    3. Yield to the author’s summation

    4. Yield to the Chair

    5. Motion to hear an amendment

  1. Author’s Closing Statements

    1. Author must reintroduce themselves

    2. 2 minutes per closing in addition to any yielded time


Step 3: Vote:

  1. Bill Ballots are completed by all Delegates in the room (including the Author but not the Chairs)

Amendment Procedure


Step 1: Introduction of Amendments:  Delegates wishing to amend the Bill currently on the floor must have already approached the Clerk with the amendment. The delegate must ask to hear the amendment on con time.  After the Amendment procedure has concluded, the Committee returns to Bill debate on the same Bill.   


Step 2:  Amendment Procedure:

  1. The Clerk reads the amendment 

  2. Amendment author approaches the front of the room for a 2 minute opening statement

  3. Committee moves to a period of Non-debatable Technical Questions (NDTQs)

  4. Chair asks if the Bill author deems the amendment friendly or unfriendly

    1. If friendly, it is automatically added to the Bill

    2. If unfriendly, the amendment is not recognized. It can then be brought up in Chamber.



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