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Amendments to Recommendations/Resolutions proposed through the Adoption of a Committee Report


Guest Aaron Santangelo

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Guest Aaron Santangelo

I am currently serving as the Parliamentarian for our Student Assemby, and we recently came upon a discrepency on the vote for our Appropriation Committee Reports. To preface, our Appropriations committee recommends funding allocations to a other student groups on campus, and therefore they make a recommendation on the amount of money that is allocated through a resolution during their report. Since we are adopting the report, and therefore taking on the actions of the resolution, I wanted to know what the vote (majority vs two-thirds) would be to amend the recommended amount?

While reading through RONR, I couldn't find a distinct difference than from a normal resolution. When talking with the President of the Assembly, she stated that the motion went against a recommendation of the committee. I was confused because you can't necessarily reject a committee report, but i did not know if you could object to considering a recommendation/resolution, which is where the two-thirds vote would come into play.

Currently, there is no stipulation in either our Charter, Bylaws, Standing or Special Rules that state any vote, but I would like to get some clarification so that I can formalize it in our Standing Rules, which will help resolve this discrepency for years to come.

- Aaron -

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I am currently serving as the Parliamentarian for our Student Assemby, and we recently came upon a discrepency on the vote for our Appropriation Committee Reports. To preface, our Appropriations committee recommends funding allocations to a other student groups on campus, and therefore they make a recommendation on the amount of money that is allocated through a resolution during their report. Since we are adopting the report, and therefore taking on the actions of the resolution, I wanted to know what the vote (majority vs two-thirds) would be to amend the recommended amount?

While reading through RONR, I couldn't find a distinct difference than from a normal resolution. When talking with the President of the Assembly, she stated that the motion went against a recommendation of the committee. I was confused because you can't necessarily reject a committee report, but i did not know if you could object to considering a recommendation/resolution, which is where the two-thirds vote would come into play.

Currently, there is no stipulation in either our Charter, Bylaws, Standing or Special Rules that state any vote, but I would like to get some clarification so that I can formalize it in our Standing Rules, which will help resolve this discrepency for years to come.

- Aaron -

First, you probably shouldn't be adopting the report of the committee, just the recommended resolution that comes out of it. See RONR (11th ed.), p. 508, ll. 8-10, and surrounding pages.

Second, when the resolution is pending, it is amendable, and an amendment requires a majority vote. See p. 127, l. 7.

Third, a rule covering the vote requirement for amendment would not be a standing rule, it would be a rule of order, and there is no need for a special rule of order, unless you want to change it from a majority, since RONR already stipulates that a majority vote is required. See p. 15, ll. 7-13 & p. 18, ll 3-8.

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For greater clarity, a recommendation of a committee has never been decided on, from the assembly's perspective. The committee is saying "We think this should be done."

When the committee reports, the reporting member moves the adoption of the motion in the report, and then it is considered like any other motion.

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For more clarity, though probably not any greater, please note, Aaron, that you should get Objection to Consideration out of your head about amending. While I suppose the committee report, or even its recommendations, might be subject to Ob-to-Cons (my instant neologism: neat, eh?) (See SDC #2 for Ob-to-Cons), not amendments.

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