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New Business vs. Notice of Motion


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I work for a municipal government with an assembly of 7 elected officials. The Procedure Bylaw covers off "Notice of Motion" by explaining how a member may provide "Notice" for the next regularly scheduled session. P. 360 lines 13-23 in RONR indicate after any unfinished business has been dealt with, it is acceptable for the Chair to ask whether there is any new business. This would seem to pretty much defeat the purpose of having a member provide a Notice of Motion for the next session other than reducing the vote to adopt such motion from 2/3 (without notice) to a majority vote (with notice). Am I understanding this correctly?

Also, when the opportunity for new business is presented and a member makes a motion, is it a 2/3 vote that is required to adopt an original main motion because no notice was previously given?

Thank you. 

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Question:  Do your municipal ordinances (never mind RONR at this point) require notice for all business (new or unfinished, or whatever) to be brought up before your assembly?  That will avoid all surprises, of course, which may be a good thing for a government agency.  If thems your rules, follow them.

RONR, OTOH, does not require advance notice for almost all kinds of business (amending bylaws is a typical exception).  Some parliamentary motions can have their vote adoption threshold (2/3 vs. majority) reduced if previous notice is given, but it is (usually) not required.   "Regular" new business can be adopted by a majority vote, a quorum being present,  of course.  So surprises are in order. 

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Larry, if you are talking about a public body such as a city  council or similar entity, it is almost certainly subject to your state's "open meetings" or "sunshine" laws.  Those laws typically require that the agenda for public meetings be publicly posted a certain number of days in advance of the meeting.   RONR contains no such rule.  Under RONR, the two main reasons for giving notice of a motion that a member intends to introduce at the next meeting are for proposed bylaw amendments (which usually require previous notice) and notice of a motion to amend or rescind something previously adopted to reduce the vote requirement from a two thirds vote (or the vote of a majority of the entire membership) to a regular majority vote.

1 hour ago, Larry J. Randle said:

. . . after any unfinished business has been dealt with, it is acceptable for the Chair to ask whether there is any new business

Not exactly.  RONR says that the chair DOES ask if there is any new business. In the standard order of business, "New Business" follows "Unfinished Business and General Orders".   From page 360:  "New Business. After unfinished business and general orders have been disposed of, the chair asks, "Is there any new business?"

See pages 121-123 for how (and when) to give previous notice.

As Dr. Stackpole stated, only a majority vote is required for the adoption of most main motions.  RONR actually requires previous notice only in a very few limited circumstances, primarily bylaw amendments, adoption and amendment of special rules of order, etc.   When previous notice is given of a motion to amend or rescind something previously adopted, it is usually just to lower the vote threshold for the adoption of the motion at the next meeting. 

If we aren't understanding what you are asking, please try again.

Edited to add:  It is also possible that your city charter requires previous notice of some or all business to come before the council.

 

Edited by Richard Brown
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Thank you both for chiming in here and helping me understand the differences here. Yes, what we call the "Council Procedures Bylaw" requires that all new matters for the agenda for the next Regular Council meeting be included on the agenda which is prepared and distributed 6 days in advance of the regularly scheduled meeting. As you have noted, this allows all Council members and the public to know exactly what will be considered at each meeting. I agree that this requirement does meet the strategy of providing for open, accountable government.

The Bylaw also states that if there is an emergent issue that a Council member wants to have considered at a Regular Council meeting that is not on the agenda, with a 2/3 vote in support of considering that emergent issue, it can then be considered. If there is not a 2/3 vote supporting the addition of the late item, then that member can make a Notice of Motion to ensure it makes it onto the following Council meeting agenda.

With these rules in the Bylaw, do you think it is still appropriate for the Chair to ask if there is any new business (or as he always, asks, " are there any additions to the agenda?") at each Regular Council meeting?

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13 hours ago, Larry J. Randle said:

With these rules in the Bylaw, do you think it is still appropriate for the Chair to ask if there is any new business (or as he always, asks, " are there any additions to the agenda?") at each Regular Council meeting?

Yes, I think so, although the chair should perhaps clarify that, under your rules, a 2/3 vote to consider the motion will be necessary.

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