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Amendments Modifying a Budget Approved by Governing Body


Guest Mike Baethke

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Guest Mike Baethke

Using parlementary procedures, could an assembly modeify a budget approved by the governing body (Council) when constitutionally the assembly only has authority to approve or not approve the annual budget?

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Is it possible within your bylaws for your assembly to direct your Council to do something? If so, is that power removed when it comes to forming a budget? Could your assembly just keep on not approving the annual budget, and send a note to the Council stating what form of budget they would approve?

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Guest Goopher

Using parlementary procedures, could an assembly modeify a budget approved by the governing body (Council) when constitutionally the assembly only has authority to approve or not approve the annual budget?

It's known to happen that a Council (Board of Directors, etc.) approves a budget proposal, which is then submitted to a supreme assembly for approval. Is this what's going on in your case? Or is it normal for the assembly to not vote on the annual budget?

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Guest Goopher

Using parlementary procedures, could an assembly modeify a budget approved by the governing body (Council) when constitutionally the assembly only has authority to approve or not approve the annual budget?

Oops, apologies, I misread that "only" to mean that "only the assembly has the power", rather than the intended "the only power (relative to the budget) is an up-or-down vote".

Sorry.

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Guest Mike Baethke

It's known to happen that a Council (Board of Directors, etc.) approves a budget proposal, which is then submitted to a supreme assembly for approval. Is this what's going on in your case? Or is it normal for the assembly to not vote on the annual budget?

Yes, the congregation (supreme assembly) meets annually to approve our budget for the next calendar year.

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Using parlementary procedures, could an assembly modeify a budget approved by the governing body (Council) when constitutionally the assembly only has authority to approve or not approve the annual budget?

If your Constitution truly provides that the assembly needs to take a straight "up or down vote" on the budget, then no, it would not be in order to modify it. I'd take a close look at the Constitution to see if this is really the case, though. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation.

If your Constitution really requires a straight "up or down vote," then I think the best route to go (if there's time for some back-and-forth) would be to vote down the budget, and then make a motion advising the council to submit a new budget with the desired changes, and then hope the Council will take the hint.

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Yes, the congregation (supreme assembly) meets annually to approve our budget for the next calendar year.

Your use of the term "governing body (Council)" made me wonder if this was a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) but a Presbyterian congregation is NOT the supreme assembly under Presbyterian polity in fact they have very little power.

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