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Many functions of government run on a system called Parliamentary Procedure. It is meant to run meetings efficiently. Legislative bodies use Parliamentary Procedure to debate legislation.
At first, Parliamentary Procedure can seem like a daunting, complicated method to participate in discussion. However, by spending some time learning by reading Robert’s Rules of Order and flipping through the TISL Parliamentary Procedure PowerPoint, you will be ready to debate at the next General Assembly.”


ParliPro is Based on the Rank of Motions and a Few Simple Principles

Consideration of a bill begins with the Main Motion -- the motion to adopt the bill.

Once the main motion is pending, another motion is in order if it outranks other pending motions.

If, for example, a motion to amend is pending, a motion to refer to committee is in order because it outranks the motion to amend. In the same situation, a motion to postpone indefinitely is out of order because it ranks lower than the motion to amend.

Extending the above example, presume the motion to refer to committee is pending. If the motion to refer is defeated, consideration of the motion to amend resumes automatically.

It logically follows that a motion equal in rank to a pending motion is out of order because a motion must outrank other pending motions to be in order. If a motion to refer to committee is pending, another motion to refer to committee would be out of order. But the pending motion to refer to committee can be amended to change the committee.

A delegate must be recognized by the presiding officer to make one of these motions, and each of them requires a second.




Incidental motions concern business that needs to be brought before the house immediately.

Incidental motions must pertain to the pending business. They have no rank among themselves and outrank all other motions. Only one incidental motion may be pending at a time.

Point of Order: If a delegate believes the rules of order are being breached, he/she makes a Point of Order, asking the Speaker to rule on the issue. If the Speaker fails to see an infraction, he/she may ask the delegate to explain the complaint.

This motion does not require a second or a vote. Point of Order is the only motion that doesn’t require recognition from the Speaker and may interrupt another speaker.

              "Point of Order!"

Point of Order: After the Speaker rules on an issue such as a Point of Order, the house may vote to on whether to sustain or overrule the Speaker's decision.

For example, if the Speaker rules that a motion is out of order, a delegate may want the house to override the speaker. If the appeal is seconded, the house decides whether to uphold or overrule the Speaker's decision.

An appeal is subject to the general rules of debate, and the Speaker may explain his/her decision. The speaker does not have to relinquish the chair during the discussion. A simple majority decides the question.

              "I appeal the ruling of the Chair."

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