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Guest TunerJeff

Greetings!

I have a question on revising a Bylaws amendment for an organization. Basically we (my Chapter) submitted a proposal to amend our organization's Bylaws to limit dues increases to once every 5 years, and included an argument in support of that position.

Unfortunately; the wording of the proposal, as submitted, allowed for MORE than we had wished. There is a lot of 'why?' behind that...but essentially, we are wondering if Robert's Rules can give us a way to modify a Bylaws Amendment proposal, on the Council floor, and stay within the Rules.

Feel free to respond privately to TunerJeff@aol.com

Thanks for the help,

Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT

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Yes, any proposed bylaw amendment (technically a main motion to amend something previously adopted (ASPA) - the bylaws are the "something previously adopted", even though it may have been a long time ago) can itself be amended as can (most) any other main motion, prior to final adoption of the (possibly amended) ASPA motion.

This all takes place during the consideration of the ASPA motion. See p. 594.

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Sure.

When the bylaws amendment is pending, it is open to debate and amendment like any other motion. However, you have to be careful that the amendment stays within the scope of the notice. Essentially, it must not go beyond the changes stated in the previous notice of the amendment in such a way that someone who decided they didn't care enough to show up might suddenly care, if your amendment were to be agreed to.

"The requirement of notice restricts amendment of the proposed bylaw amendment to changes within the scope of the notice, as explained on pages 594–96 (see also Standard Characteristic 6, p. 306)."

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Guest TunerJeff

Bingo!

Gary, you have nailed the issue. It is the 'scope of notice' that concerns us.

I would hope to argue that the submission, which was distributed to all members, includes the argument in support of the proposal. Clearly, everyone knows what we INTENDED, even though the wording of the proposal itself was incorrect. Can't we argue that the aim was clear, and therefore amend the proposal on the floor to meet the aim we stated?

Current Bylaws read;

Council may not increase or decrease dues by more than 3.75%, unless prior notice has been given, and unless approval has been given by a 2/3rds vote of delegates present and voting.

Proposal for Amendment reads;

Council may only increase or decrease dues 2 times in any 5-year period by more than 3.75% unless prior notice...etc.

We were trying to limit increases in dues to once in 5 years, but reading the amendment (I didn't write the dang thing! I'm just arguing it!) shows that this actually lets Council raise and lower dues by whatever they want....not the target we were aiming at. Duh!

So...does scope of notice kill the idea of amending this proposal? Our supporting argument showed our goal-

"This Bylaws amendment would limit this action to once every 5 years, but still allow for justified increases, well-explained and voted on."

Gary...it is precisely the 'scope of notice' which concerns us. Can we squeeze our obvious intent from the argument-in-favor to cover a change in the wording of the proposal?

Wondering,

I am,

jefffff

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Well, to me the scope seems pretty clear since it essentially numeric.

The current bylaws allow a dues increase just as often as an amendment to do so gets adopted. In an extreme, an infinite number of times in any span of time.

Your amendment limits you to two increases in a five year period. I don't see how this amendment gives the Council any more free reign as to the upper limit to the amount of a raise than the current bylaws.

So the "scope" applies to setting the number of times that dues can be raised to anything between infinity and twice in 5 years. Amending this to once in five years would appear to be outside the scope.

But your assembly is the ultimate, and final, judge as to whether a particular proposal to amend the original bylaw amendment (the ASPA motion), not us here.

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Bingo!

Gary, you have nailed the issue. It is the 'scope of notice' that concerns us.

I would hope to argue that the submission, which was distributed to all members, includes the argument in support of the proposal. Clearly, everyone knows what we INTENDED, even though the wording of the proposal itself was incorrect. Can't we argue that the aim was clear, and therefore amend the proposal on the floor to meet the aim we stated?

Current Bylaws read;

Council may not increase or decrease dues by more than 3.75%, unless prior notice has been given, and unless approval has been given by a 2/3rds vote of delegates present and voting.

Proposal for Amendment reads;

Council may only increase or decrease dues 2 times in any 5-year period by more than 3.75% unless prior notice...etc.

We were trying to limit increases in dues to once in 5 years, but reading the amendment (I didn't write the dang thing! I'm just arguing it!) shows that this actually lets Council raise and lower dues by whatever they want....not the target we were aiming at. Duh!

So...does scope of notice kill the idea of amending this proposal? Our supporting argument showed our goal-

"This Bylaws amendment would limit this action to once every 5 years, but still allow for justified increases, well-explained and voted on."

Gary...it is precisely the 'scope of notice' which concerns us. Can we squeeze our obvious intent from the argument-in-favor to cover a change in the wording of the proposal?

Wondering,

I am,

jefffff

I think the short answer is "no". The proposed amendment broadens the Council's existing power. Any proposed subsidiary amendment of the proposed amendment designed to achieve your professed intent would restrict the Council's existing power.

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