Creating an Official Time for House Introductions

H.4700 would amend the rules of the House of Representatives to add special introductions, recognitions, and announcements to the House’s regular order of business. This time would be limited to 15 minutes total with no more than 8 introductions, recognitions, or announcements, not to exceed 90 seconds each. However, the Speaker at his discretion could allow more introductions, recognitions, or announcements during roll call voting as he deems fit.

Under current law introductions, recognitions, and announcements do not have an official place in the order of businesses, they are typically made at the beginning of the legislative day, though it is not uncommon to see other House business interrupted by an introduction.

The kinds of measures this bill is concerned with waste public time and resources, lengthen South Carolina’s legislative session, and give politicians a chance to campaign on the public dime by flattering constituents. Limiting introductions and announcements to a 15 minute period would be a slight improvement to the current system (eliminating them altogether would be superior), but this bill wouldn’t even achieve that much due to its loophole which allows the speaker to permit an unlimited number of such measures every day.

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