Massachusetts State House
Association By-Laws, Rules
ARTICLE 1. — NAME.
SECTION 1. This organization shall be named the Massachusetts State House Press Association.
SECTION 2. This organization merged with the State House Broadcasters Association, and shall be responsible for the duties and powers vested in both organizations by any prior law or legislative rule.
ARTICLE 2. — OBJECT.
Its object shall be to promote the standing and efficiency of accredited news reporters whose principal headquarters are in the Massachusetts State House.
ARTICLE 3. — MEMBERSHIP.
SECTION 1. Members shall be the properly accredited representatives at the Massachusetts State House of daily newspapers, news services, digital news outlets, radio stations, or television stations, that regularly report on the State House, approved by the executive committee, and the fact of such representatives having the required qualification shall be established to the satisfaction of the executive committee, subject to appeal to the Association.
SECTION 2. No person acting in any sense as legislative agent or representative of or for individuals, groups or corporations having legislation before the Legislature, and no person engaged in issue or policy advocacy, and no person whose chief attention and activity is not given to news reporting work or administrative tasks in support of such work, shall be deemed to have the qualification for membership.
SECTION 3. Termination of qualification is to be decided by the executive committee, subject to appeal to the Association, and termination of qualification shall terminate membership in the Association.
ARTICLE 4. — OFFICERS.
The Association officers shall be a president, a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall perform the duties incumbent upon such officers, and an executive committee of five members, including the president and secretary as members ex-officio with voting powers. Officers shall be elected at the Association's annual meeting and shall hold office until the next annual meeting, or until their successors are elected. Vacancies in office shall be filled by ballot at a special election duly called.
ARTICLE 5. — DUTIES OF OFFICERS.
SECTION 1. The president shall be the chair of the executive committee. In the president's absence the duties of this office shall be assumed by the members of the executive committee, serving as acting-president, in the order in which their names are recorded upon election.
SECTION 2. The secretary shall issue all calls for meetings, and shall be the custodian, subject to the direction of the executive committee, of the keys to desks and lockers, and rooms assigned for the use of the press, and shall keep a list of those persons to whom desks and lockers are assigned.
SECTION 3. The treasurer shall collect and hold all dues and assessments, and shall expend the same only upon vouchers approved by the executive committee.
SECTION 4. The executive committee shall have supervision and direction of the use of the press galleries and all other facilities in the State House assigned for the use of the press, and shall have charge of the assignment of desks and lockers.
ARTICLE 6. — LEGISLATIVE REPORTERS.
The term "legislative reporter," in so far as the Association shall have jurisdiction with reference to the application of that term, shall apply only to members of the Association, and such others as are granted limited privilege of the use of the House Gallery or the Senate Gallery.
ARTICLE 7. — QUORUM.
A majority of the members of the Association shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE 8. — AMENDMENTS.
This Constitution may be amended by a two thirds vote of the members of the Association present and voting at a meeting held after notice given of proposed amendment and time of meeting, not less than four weeks in advance of such meeting.
ARTICLE 9. — VOTING.
Each news organization represented in the membership of the Association shall be entitled to one vote on matters put to the vote in Association meetings, even though such publication or service may be represented in the membership by more than one individual. Any member, representing more than one publication, shall be restricted to one vote.
ARTICLE 1. — DUES.
SECTION 1. Upon recommendation of the executive committee, ratified by the Association, assessments shall be levied equally by the treasurer to meet expenses as they arise.
SECTION 2. Members of the Association and the holders of limited privilege of the use of the press facilities shall deposit with the treasurer fifty cents ($.50) before they shall receive keys to desks, lockers or doors, but said deposit shall be returned to the depositor upon surrender of such keys to the secretary.
ARTICLE 2. — MEETINGS.
SECTION 1. A meeting shall be held annually in the first week of December, when the first order of business, after the reading of the records, shall be to hear reports of officers, and the second shall be the election of officers for the ensuing year.
SECTION 2. Special meetings shall be called by direction of the executive committee or upon request of five members.
SECTION 3. Notice of an annual meeting and the purpose for which it is called shall be posted at least two weeks in advance of such meeting, and notice of a special meeting and the purpose for which it is called shall be posted at least twenty-four hours in advance of such meeting.
ARTICLE 3. — PRESS FACILITIES.
SECTION 1. The use of the facilities assigned to the press in the State House shall be confined to members of this Association, and for a limited period to others, whose application shall be approved by the executive committee; but such limited privilege may be revoked for cause. Reporters' galleries of the House and Senate, when either branch, or both, are in session, shall be restricted to the use of the then members of the Association, and to their substitutes and assistants as approved by the executive committee.
SECTION 2. No application for limited privilege of the use of the press facilities shall be approved by the executive committee if the person making the application is engaged or proposes to engage in the prosecution of legislation, or if such person is acting or proposes to act as the legislative agent or representative of or for individuals, groups, or corporations having legislation before the Legislature, or if such person is engaged in policy or issue advocacy, and if the applicant's chief attention and activity is not to be given to news reporting work or administrative tasks in support of such work.
SECTION 3. Termination of qualification, to be decided by the executive committee, subject to appeal to the Association, shall terminate limited privilege.
SECTION 4. Substitutes for legislative reporters shall have all the rights of the person for whom they are acting as substitute, except the right of voting, and shall be certified by card upon application to any officer of the Association.
ARTICLE 4. — LEGISLATIVE REPORTERS.
Within 10 days after the General Court convenes, the secretary shall transmit to the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House and the sergeant-at-arms, a list of legislative reporters with the principal news organization that each represents. For the purpose of this list the legislative reporters shall be divided into two groups as follows: (a) members of the Massachusetts State House Press Association; (b) persons not members of the Association who have the privilege of the House and Senate galleries. Changes in this list shall be transmitted to the above officers of the House and Senate, from time to time as such changes occur.
ARTICLE 5. — APPLICATIONS.
SECTION 1. Applicants for membership or for limited privilege of the use of the press facilities shall file their applications in writing with the chairman of the executive committee, and such applicants may be required to submit satisfactory evidence that they are properly qualified for membership or for the privilege that they request.
SECTION 2. The executive committee shall post the names of all persons whose applications for membership or for limited privilege have been approved, together with the principal news organization that each represents.
ARTICLE 6. — BULLETIN.
A bulletin board shall be maintained in Room 456 upon which all official notices shall be displayed.
ARTICLE 7. — AMENDMENTS.
These rules may be amended by a majority vote after notice given at a meeting not less than two weeks in advance of the time when such vote is taken.
ARTICLE 8. — SUSPENSION OF THE RULES.
Any rule may be suspended by a two thirds vote of the members present.