The following Code of Rules and Regulations were last updated to the following Handbook version: 2.0.5.

These rules below may be outdated; please consult the most-current Handbook to verify that these rules are current. If these rules are outdated, please notify [email protected] and base your determinations on the Handbook.

  1. Supremacy Clause
    1. The Handbook is the governing authority of the Program, unless otherwise stated.
    2. Robert’s Rules of Order are always in effect to govern parliamentary debate in the program. 
    3. However, if a conflict should arise between Robert’s Rules and those outlined in the Rhode Island Model Legislature Handbook, the Handbook takes precedence.
  2. Senator and Representative Rule
    1. Every delegation is guaranteed one (1) Senator in the Senate and two (2) Representatives in the House.
    2. Every Senator and Representative is guaranteed the right to introduce one (1) bill (individually) as the primary author.
  3. Legislation Rule
    1. Every delegation is guaranteed five (5) bills in each chamber.
    2. Delegations may submit more than five, but will be subject to Program coordinator approval. 
  4. Good Faith Rule
    1. All participants of the program — students and adults alike — are expected to act, at all times therein, in good faith.
    2. For the purposes of this program, “good faith” acts are those made, jointly or separately, by a person who, at the time of making such act, believed them to be (1) legitamte, (2) purposeful, and (3) lawful, and, furthermore, would be deemed as such by an objective and reasonable person prior-to, during, or after-the-fact.
    3. “Lawful” under this section refers to compliance with Program, State, or Federal laws, rules, and regulations.
  5. Committee Action Rule
    1. Committees shall take one of the following actions on each bill:
      1. Passage (without amendment);
      2. Passage (with amendment); 
      3. Failure; 
      4. Postponement (treated as failure); or
      5. Unheard (treated as passage).
    2. The Committee Chair shall be the only legislator empowered and recognized for the purpose of reporting on bill action to the chamber leader during General Assembly, unless said Chairperson is absent, in which case any member of the Committee in question, who was present for the Committee’s action, is present, and said person shall be empowered and recognized for the same purpose.
  6. Bill Author’s Rights
    1. The primary author of any bill shall have the right to speak on that bill prior to the floor being opened to debate.
    2. In cases of more than one author, the first bill author to appear on any legislation, who is present in the General Assembly, shall be the first legislator recognized to speak on their bill.
    3. Bill authors from the opposite Chamber may be recognized to speak on their bill but are not allowed to introduce any legislative action, unless yielded a full seat in that Chamber by one of its members.
  7. Party Leaders’ Rights
    1. The ranking party leader from the Conservative and Liberal parties shall be given the chance to speak on all legislation at the time of a final vote, after debate has been closed, but before the assembly takes the vote on the question itself.
  8. Participation Rule
    1. Right to Speak
      1. Every member reserves the right to request to speak on any matter.
      2. Every member has the right to speak for two (2) minutes.
      3. No person may ever speak at one time for longer than two (2) minutes.
      4. No person may speak on a matter or motion more than once while another requests recognition.
      5. Upon speaking on a matter or motion twice, the person in question has exhausted their rights to debate and may not speak on that matter or motion again, even if no one else seeks recognition.
    2. The presiding officer of each chamber may not debate while chairing the chamber.
    3. No person may debate while chairing the chamber.
    4. No lobbyist shall be allowed to speak on chamber floors.
    5. Party leaders shall be the only legislators who may, once recognized, move for immediate consideration of any bill with a successful 2/3 majority vote.
    6. The question may only be moved on any legislation once two opposing speakers have been given a chance to speak on said legislation.
    7. Only one motion may be considered at a time.
    8. When a delegate is recognized, he/she shall rise and thank the leader, saying “Mr./Madam Speaker” (House) or “Mr./Madam President” (Senate).
    9. The chamber or committee leader decides who can speak, without argument.
    10. When a delegate has the floor, he/she shall not be interrupted unless the senator or representative is rising to a point of information, inquiry, or order, at which time the presiding officer can choose to respond.
    11. When a delegate obtains the floor upon recognition by the presiding officer, he/she must confine remarks to the subject under debate, and not digress to comments on the personalities of fellow legislators.
    12. There shall be no disorderly language or conduct in any open session of any chamber or committee.
    13. There is to be no consumption of food or beverages in any chamber at any time.
    14. Any legislator may move any action or motion by unanimous consent, including the chair or leader, which is treated as a unanimous passage, unless any legislator objects, at which point the motion is treated as a failure.
  9. Changing of Model Legislature Rules
    1. These rules are only amendable, alterable, or suspendable by the State Coordinators. 
    2. Motions to suspend, alter, amend, or eliminate these rules are out of order.
  10. Academic Honesty
    1. Members are to follow the guidelines outlined in this handbook regarding plagiarism.
    2. Allegations of violations of these rules are governed by the Complaint Rule.
  11. Knowing of Violations Rule
    1. Any individual with knowledge of a violation of these rules is required to report such immediately to their respective Advisor, or to a State Coordinator or an Administrator.
  12. Complaint Rule
    1. Anyone may complain to the President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies Association if they are aggrieved by the actions of another. 
    2. Any accusations shall result in a full, proper, thorough, and complete investigation.
      1. The President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies shall head any and all investigations.
      2. Any parties directly, or indirectly, involved in such matters may be petitioned to submit written statements, or other answers, including material evidence, to the President, at the request of the President, or his or her designee, within three (3) business days of the initial request, not including the day to which the request was made.
      3. If a timeframe cannot be met, an individual is required to request an extension from the President.
      4. Any individual always reserves the right to respond to any requests by simply, under his or her Constitutional rights, refuse to answer such questions, which is accomplishable by citing this section, or by stating a comment to the following effect: “I have received your request for a statement and/or answers, but upon conference with my agents, have chosen to refrain from providing such at this time.” 
      5. Any failure to respond, including failure to request for an extension or to submit a formal exertion of constitutional protections, shall be considered a refusal to respond. 
      6. Any refusal to respond in any form, as under options outlined in this section, shall result in automatic suspension of program services until an investigation has completed.
      7. The President shall have complete control over the timeframe, venues, and other discretionary matters not set forth by the Program.
      8. An individual accused may choose, upon his or her choice, to take one of the following defenses to their actions, in part or whole, jointly and severally:
        1. That they are innocent.
        2. That the action was unintentional, by sheer chance, by an act of nature or an act of God. 
        3. That the individual was unaware, and would never have been aware, that their conduct was in breach of this policy, provided that they are aware that it is their sole responsibility to be aware of this policy.
        4. That they are guilty as accused; and by admitting guilt are, under these rules, from that point entitled to lighter punishment and scrutiny, at the President’s discretion.
      9. Investigations are disposed of once the President is satisfied with the course and the matters discovered, at which point he or she shall have the power to decide for himself or herself, or to convene a committee of his or her choice to make said decision thereof, as to the punishment of the individual, which shall be limited to:
        1. Suspension from any or all Program services;
        2. Termination of any or all Program services; or
        3. Sanctions in conformity with law and practice, such as private letters of apology, conferences with the President to review such actions, and, if possible, fixing the mistakes one has committed.
      10. The President, or his or her designee, is required to write a report of the full investigation, detailing the following:
        1. Who or how the allegation was raised;
        2. The facts and evidence uncovered during the investigation;
        3. The pleadings and answers of any parties at the request of the President;
        4. The conduct of all parties involved; and
        5. The final determinations as to sanctions, how such were reached, how long such shall last, and precedent for such if applicable.
  13. Amendment Rule
    1. Anyone may submit a written amendment to the President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies to these rules, who shall then, at his or her discretion:
      1. set a hearing for the amendment;
      2. reject the amendment;
      3. modify the amendment. 
  14. Policy Rule
    1. The Program coordinators may, at their discretion, implement policies to govern the use of special services, such as those relating to the Digital Platform. 
  15. Support System Rule
    1. All requests made to the Program must be submitted through the support system at, with the exception of those filed by paper using Form 301.
  16. Right to Agenda Placement
    1. Every bill author has the right to have their bill be added to the agenda of the committee to which it resides.
    2. Every bill author has the right to have their bill be added to the agenda of the chamber to which it resides, should it survive committee.
  17. Written Opinion Rule
    1. A written opinion is the official understanding of the rules and policies of the Program issued by a State Coordinator or an Administrator.
    2. Any person may request a written opinion, as to any rule or policy from a State Coordinator or an Administrator, which may contain the requested author’s
      1. Opinion as to what a rule or policy means;
      2. Opinion as to the compliance with rules or policies of a specific action or actions; or
      3. Any other opinion the requestor seeks.
    3. Within ten (10) business days of receiving a request for a written opinion, the author requested thereof shall
      1. Delivery a written opinion to the requestor;
      2. Refer the request to another State Coordinator or Administrator;
      3. State their inability to answer the request; or
      4. Deny the request with a statement as to cause thereof.
    4. All written opinions shall be published to the Program’s website, exclusive of any personally identifiable information of students (such as names, grades, or delegations), which shall be redacted prior to publication.
    5. A State Coordinator or Administrator may supply a written opinion under this rule, without specific request for one, at their discretion.
    6. An individual may appeal the determinations under this rule to the President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies in the form of a Complaint against the deciding individual(s).
  18. Policy Promulgation Rule
    1. Program State Coordinators or Administrators may promulgate policies, from time to time, at their discretion, to further structure these Rules of the Program.
    2. Any individual may petition a State Coordinator or Administrator to promulgate a policy.
    3. The petitioner, within ten (10) business days, shall 
      1. Create a policy as petitioned, in part or whole;
      2. Refer the petition to another State Coordinator or Administrator;
      3. State their inability to answer the petition; or
      4. Deny the petition with a statement as to cause thereof.
    4. An individual may appeal the determinations under this rule to the President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies in the form of a Complaint against the deciding individual(s).
  19. Digital Platform Rules
    1. Only the delegation advisor of a student may create the account for that student.
    2. Only the delegation advisor of the primary author of a bill may submit the title and author-information of said legislation.
    3. Only the delegation advisor of the primary author of a bill may submit said legislation.
    4. Only the committee chair of a committee may enter the agenda, final votes, or amendments of that committee.
    5. Only the chamber administrators (chamber leaders, clerks, and parliamentarians) of a chamber may enter the agenda, final votes, or amendments of that chamber.
    6. No person shall intentionally access and/or use accounts, portals, or other material constructs located on the internet that relate to the Program that
      1. Do not belong to said person;
      2. Said person does not normally have access to;
      3. Said person is not entitled to access to; or
      4. Said person cannot act in good faith in using or accessing.
    7. None of this section shall prohibit a State Coordinator or an Administrator from intervening on anyone’s behalf and performing functions expected from said individual.
  20. User Rights to Account Data
    1. The Program owns any document, email, spreadsheet, image, or other digital media created using and any Google account. 
    2. Any individual who is no longer a member of the Program shall have their account suspended as soon as immediately. 
    3. Any individual who has been issued a account may request copies of their data prior to, or during, suspension.
    4. Any suspended account shall be deleted no sooner than ninety (90) days.
    5. Accounts may be suspended for any reason.
    6. Users may appeal account suspension to the President of the Rhode Island Council for the Social Studies in the form of a Complaint against the individual who suspended their account.
  21. Constitutional Question Rule
    1. No bill may be introduced nor heard on the floor of the House or the Senate, or in their respective committees, if the bill in question directly alters the Constitution of the State.
    2. This rule is an exception to Rule 16. 
    3. A bill may only propose to submit to the voters a question as to an amendment to the Constitution; it shall never amend the Constitution itself. 
      1. For a bill that requires a constitutional amendment, there must be a clear distinction mandating that only the question of the amendment is submitted to voters.
      2. Lawful Example: “An Act to Propose to Voters an Amendment to the Constitution to Rename the State”
      3. Unlawful Example: “An Act to Rename the State”
  22. Party Platform Creation; Subject to Review
    1. All party platforms are subject to review, and must be submitted to, all State Coordinators prior to publication or distribution.
    2. State Coordinators reserve the right to reject, modify, alter, or otherwise control any and all party platforms to conform with local, State, and federal requirements, as well as to remove content or language that can be deemed objectively offensive on religious or moral grounds due to extremist ideologies that do not conform to accepted standards for political discourse.
      1. Official determinations are subject to appellate review under Rule 12 and may be appealed by aggrieved parties.
    3. Statement of Intent: This Rule is intended to prevent issues that arose a previous session in which certain comments were introduced into a party platform and distributed without State Coordinator knowledge that included offensive language regarding controversial topics. Students have the right to express political ideals through their voting powers and debate rights; however, a party platform for the purposes of this Program must be inclusive to all members of that party; that is to say that any party platform may never directly insult or offend a member of that party on the grounds of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
    4. The Program bases the scope of this Rule around the standpoints of federal anti-discrimination statutes, and points to the spirit of Title VII, and as such the Program henceforth is prohibiting party platforms from discriminatory language on the basis of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation.