Those permitted on the floor during session include: members of the Senate, desk and floor personnel of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives, accredited representatives of the news media, staff of the Senate President's office and caucus offices; and one member of a Senator's personal staff or committee staff may be seated at a member's desk. Additional Senate staff members are permitted on the side aisles.
To approach a member's desk, enter from a side-aisle gate and proceed to the back of the Chamber, then proceed up the row of your destination. During floor sessions, the part of the Senate Chamber that includes the center aisle and the space between the front desk and the members' desks may be used only by Senators and those acting at the direction of the Secretary of the Senate. Do not cross between a speaker and the rostrum.
The members' desks are identified by nameplates. Two chairs are at each desk. The one with arms is for the member and the side chair is for a staff person or a guest. The seating at the rear of the Chamber is only for members and for staff of the Senate President's office and caucus offices.
No eating, drinking or smoking is permitted on side aisles or within the bar of the Senate Chamber.
Laptop computers and hand-held electronic devices used as a computer may be used by members and staff in the Senate Chamber at all times. Any device making an audible noise including mobile phones and computers that distract from the decorum of the Senate is prohibited inside the bar of the Senate.
Mobile phone conversations may be conducted in the Senate phone booths at the back of the Chamber. Senate phone booths are for members only.
After a quorum is reached, the President gavels three times for everyone to stand for posting of the colors and Pledge of Allegiance. The body remains standing (unless otherwise indicated) during the invocation which immediately follows the Pledge of Allegiance. No one should enter the Chamber during this order of business.
Notes from a lobbyist are prohibited while the Senate is in daily floor session.
Notes to and from members are passed through the floor staff and are confidential.
The side-aisle and double center doors are closed 15 minutes prior to session and remain closed 15 minutes following adjournment. During this 15 minute period, all rules of protocol are to be observed the same as if the Senate is in session. During a recess, the doors remain closed and access rules prevail as during session.
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