Explanation of Motions and Actions
MOTION TO RECOMMIT
A motion to recommit sends a measure back to the standing committee after it has
been reported to the floor.
MOTION TO REFER
A motion to refer sends a measure to a committee for consideration.
MOTION TO RE-REFER
A motion to re-refer sends a measure to a different committee after the original
MOTION TO RESIST A LAY OVER
A motion to resist a lay over does not allow a postponement of consideration of
a bill or joint resolution with pending amendments for one day or one hour.
MOTION TO LAY OVER
A motion to lay over postpones consideration of a bill or joint resolution with
pending amendments for one day or one hour.
MOTION TO SPECIAL ORDER
A motion to special order postpones consideration to a specific future time.
MOTION TO BRING BILL TO THE FLOOR
The motion to bring a bill to the floor requires a committee to return a measure
with or without a recommendation to the floor.
MOTION TO SUSPEND THE RULES
A motion to suspend the rules requires a 2/3 vote and temporarily suspends the effect
of the rule in question.
MOTION TO RECONSIDER
A motion to reconsider places before the chamber a question previously decided.
MOTION TO ALLOW LATE INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION
A motion to allow late introduction of legislation allows introduction of a measure
after the last introduction date as set by the constitution and each chamber's rules.
MOTION TO HAVE TWO READINGS ON THE SAME DAY
The Maryland Constitution requires three readings of a bill on different days in
each Chamber for passage unless a 2/3 majority of that Chamber votes to consider
the bill twice on the same day. A motion to have two readings on the same day requires
a 2/3 vote and allows the Chamber to consider a bill twice on the same legislative
MOTION TO VOTE ON THE PREVIOUS QUESTION
The motion to vote on the previous question closes debate and brings the pending
question to an immediate vote.
MOTION TO LIMIT DEBATE
A motion to limit debate restricts discussion of a question in the Senate in accordance
with the terms of the motion.
MOTION TO LAY ON THE TABLE/MOTION TO POSTPONE INDEFINITELY
House Rule: Both motions prevent any further consideration of the measure during
the legislative session.
Senate Rule: Motion to lay on the table - sets aside consideration of a measure
for an unspecified time.
Motion to postpone indefinitely - prevents any further consideration of the measure
during the legislative session.
MOTION TO LAY ON THE TABLE
The motion to lay on the table sets aside consideration of the question in the Senate.
MOTION TO POSTPONE INDEFINITELY
The motion to postpone indefinitely prevents further action on or consideration
of the question in the Senate.
MOTION TO CONCUR
The motion to concur means that one chamber accepts an amendment adopted by the
MOTION NOT TO CONCUR
The motion not to concur means that one chamber rejects an amendment adopted by
the opposite chamber.
MOTION TO RECEDE
A motion to recede means that an amendment adopted by the opposite chamber is reconsidered
and withdrawn by that chamber.
MOTION TO RECESS
The motion to recess is an intermission in a daily session keeping the same legislative
MOTION TO ADJOURN
A motion to adjourn is the termination of a session with the hour and day of the
next session set prior to adjournment.
MOTION TO ADJOURN SINE DIE
A motion to adjourn sine die is the final termination of a regular or special legislative
MOTION TO WITHDRAW
A motion to withdraw allows the sponsor of a measure before the Chamber to remove
that measure from consideration.
MOTION TO SUBSTITUTE BILL FOR UNFAVORABLE REPORT
A motion to substitute a bill for the unfavorable report places a bill or joint
resolution that had received an unfavorable recommendation on a committee report
before the chamber for consideration.
A bill reported to the floor of the chamber by a committee with a "favorable" recommendation
carries no committee amendments with it. The report may be adopted or rejected.
Favorable with Amendments
A bill reported to the floor of the chamber by a committee with a "favorable with
amendments" recommendation from the committee carries committee amendments. The
report may be adopted or rejected.
A member may submit an amendment to the chamber for consideration. A floor amendment
may be adopted, rejected, or withdrawn.
Second Reading Passed
Second reading passed means the bill is ordered passed to third reading.
Second Reading Passed with Amendments
Second reading passed with amendments means the bill is ordered passed to third
Third Reading Passed:
Third reading passed means the bill met its Maryland Constitutional requirements
of three readings for passage in the chamber.
Third Reading Failed:
Third reading failed means the bill did not meet its Maryland Constitutional requirements
of three readings for passage in the chamber.
Passed enrolled means that a bill or joint resolution was passed again by the original
chamber as amended by the opposite chamber. In the case of a conference committee
report, the bill or joint resolution must be passed again by both chambers.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT
A conference committee report is a report by a joint house & senate committee, after
the refusal of one chamber to concur in amendments adopted by the other, which proposes
changes to pending legislation that are acceptable to both chambers.
A consent calendar is a calendar of non-controversial measures that has one vote
passing all measures.
EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT
An Executive Nominations Committee report is a vote on appointments by the governor
requiring legislative confirmation.
BILLS VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR
A yes vote is a vote to override the veto and a no vote is a vote to sustain the
A quorum call is a record of those members present in the chamber to transact business.
The attendance quorum is a record of all senators that have been present some time
during a daily legislative session.
Measure adopted by the body.
Measure rejected by the body.