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House adopts permanent rules for 2021-22 session

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The House has adopted permanent rules for the 2021 session, setting up its committee structure and the guidelines under which it will move bills and conduct votes and debate.

The rules, which passed 104-27 during Thursday's floor session, are nearly identical to temporary rules passed last week.

Three amendments offered by New House Republican caucus members were not adopted. One would have prevented the combination of major finance and revenue bills, and another would have allowed more time to submit amendments to bills before floor debates. The third would have allowed more time to submit amendments to amendments.

Under the rules, members must continue to submit amendments to bills 24 hours before they are heard on the floor and amendments to amendments by 6 p.m. on the day before they are heard.

A fourth amendment, from Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg), would exempt members and staff who have received a COVID-19 vaccine from wearing masks, as required under a policy approved by the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee. Miller said he takes "no issue" with masks but said he doesn't think they are "for our safety."

"The truth is that they are to muzzle you," he said, asking why nonpharmaceutical COVID-19 interventions such as temperature-taking, mask-wearing and social distancing aren't mandated.

 Miller's amendment was referred to the rules committee.

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