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preventing a motion from becoming mired in committee


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Hello everyone!

I have the following situation: A bylaws amendment brought forward by me on behalf of a group was rejected by our parent organization for two reasons - one that we did not define a term used in the amendment, and secondly that part of the language was not clear as to our intentions. She did not reject the amendment on matter of its purpose, though.

The president of our organization does not want to see this amendment go forward. She has asked that the bylaws committee look at it, and the bylaws committee chair is dragging her feet.

Per our bylaws, I have the right to bring forward motions on behalf of our group, and intend to at the next general meeting. My fear is that it might be referred to committee, and then will be stuck there forever. I know that once someone moves to refer, I can attempt to amend to state that the committee bring forward a recommendation at the next meeting, but what if that happens, and the committee does not come back with a recommendation (which is likely)?

Is there a way to craft my amendment of the referral to committee motion that forces action with our without committee action?

Thanks for any help!

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There is a motion to Discharge A Committee which can be adopted by a majority vote if the Committee doesn't report when they are instructed to do so. See RONR pp. 299-304.

Hi! Thanks - my reading of this motion is that it will require previous notice. So, if it happens the night when the report is due, does that mean unless we can get 2/3 we have to wait another month to vote on the motion to discharge?

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Hi! Thanks - my reading of this motion is that it will require previous notice. So, if it happens the night when the report is due, does that mean unless we can get 2/3 we have to wait another month to vote on the motion to discharge?

No. If the committee doesn't report when they were instructed to you can discharge them by a majority vote. RONR p. 301 says, "To prevent business from being delayed by a committee, however, there are two special circumstances under which the motion requires only a majority vote (even without notice): (a) if the committee fails to report within a prescribed time as instructed, and ( B) while the assembly is considering any partial report of the committee."

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A special circumstance allows for only a majority vote without notice, that being if the committee fails to report within a prescribed time as instructed. (RONR 10th Ed., p.301 l. 9-12)

Also:

The president of our organization does not want to see this amendment go forward. She has asked that the bylaws committee look at it, and the bylaws committee chair is dragging her feet.

I'd question whether the president asking the bylaw committee to review an amendment is the same thing as the amendment being properly referred to the committee, which requires a majority vote.

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No. If the committee doesn't report when they were instructed to you can discharge them by a majority vote. RONR p. 301 says, "To prevent business from being delayed by a committee, however, there are two special circumstances under which the motion requires only a majority vote (even without notice): (a) if the committee fails to report within a prescribed time as instructed, and ( B) while the assembly is considering any partial report of the committee."

Thank you!! I have ordered the newest version of RONR, but it has not arrived yet - you have been an immense help to me!!

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A special circumstance allows for only a majority vote without notice, that being if the committee fails to report within a prescribed time as instructed. (RONR 10th Ed., p.301 l. 9-12)

Also:

I'd question whether the president asking the bylaw committee to review an amendment is the same thing as the amendment being properly referred to the committee, which requires a majority vote.

Thanks so much. Please let me clarify - the president referring the issue to committee occurred at a BOD meeting, when I brought up the denial of the bylaws amendment - since the president had not even put it on the agenda for discussion. The bylaws chair is currently dragging her feet in discussing it with me in preparation for the upcoming monthly membership meeting.

If she does not bring anything forward, I will bring amendments to the denied amendment forward, since that is my right, under the bylaws, as a member. It is at that point I expect a referral to committee, and my fear that the committee, once given possession, will not ever bring it forward again.

However, with the wonderful help I have received here, I now know what my path is to try and prevent that, should the assembly support it.

Thanks so much!!

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