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Bylaws Amendments Recommitted


Jdsrose07
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 I am a District Director for my state society.  Our meetings occur annually in early September.  My question concerns Bylaws amendment proposals.

1) In 2016 a Bylaws committee was formed to update the current document and previous notice requirement was met prior to the 2017 meeting.

2) During the 2017 meeting the first amendment proposal was presented.  Heated discussion immediately ensued (it was about dues) and the motion to send the bylaws back to committee was quickly adopted. 
According to the terms of "Commit" (or recommit in this instance) and "Consider Seriatim" (RONR page 29, lines 18-23) when the motion to recommit was adopted, we stopped immediately at that juncture.  The proposed amendment causing the heated debate was the very first on the list so; nothing else got presented and no voting occurred.  Also, nothing was attached to the main motion when it was sent back.    

3) The bylaws committee reworked the amendment proposals which will be presented  September 2018 and previous notice has already been met.  

My QUESTION: 
Based on RONR page 592, lines 20-26 and page 594, lines 11-21, and RONR page 176 FREEDOM OF ACTION AFTER A REFERRAL - Are the first set of amendment proposals submitted for presentation in 2017 still alive for consideration as well as the  re-worked proposed amendments?  I ask because I am unable to find any statement saying because a bylaw amendment proposal is sent back to committee that it is no longer considered a viable option.  I am assuming the re-worked amendment would be considered primary however, if asked, can the previous option also be presented for consideration?

I am most interested to hear what you think.  I appreciate your time and trouble
 

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44 minutes ago, Jdsrose07 said:

Based on RONR page 592, lines 20-26 and page 594, lines 11-21, and RONR page 176 FREEDOM OF ACTION AFTER A REFERRAL - Are the first set of amendment proposals submitted for presentation in 2017 still alive for consideration as well as the  re-worked proposed amendments?  I ask because I am unable to find any statement saying because a bylaw amendment proposal is sent back to committee that it is no longer considered a viable option.  I am assuming the re-worked amendment would be considered primary however, if asked, can the previous option also be presented for consideration?

Acutally, the previous option is the “primary.” The amendment(s) will come before the assembly as they were worded at the time they were referred to the committee. If the committee wishes to change an amendment, it must offer the change as an amendment to the proposed bylaw amendment.

See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 516-524 for information on the procedures used when a committee reports on a resolution referred to it by the assembly.

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I'm having some trouble with what happened.

If what the committee originally recommended was a series of proposed bylaw amendments, I see no reason why the remainder of the proposed amendments was recommitted. It would have made sense, at least to me, if the first amendment that generated much discussion had been recommitted and the assembly then proceeded to consider the rest.

If, however, what the committee recommended was a revision, I also see no reason why the part mentioning the dues could not have been amended to what the current language was, and the remainder of the document considered seriatim.

With the strange way in which these amendments are being handled, there is a possibility that much needed changes may be held at bay for three years. Does anyone else see the whackyness of this?

Also, the "freedom of action" you mention is just to make clear that once a committee reports a motion back to the assembly the assembly is free to deal with the motion regardless of any previous motions.

(There is something wrong with the Capcha system.)

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On ‎8‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 5:55 PM, Guest Zev said:

 

If what the committee originally recommended was a series of proposed bylaw amendments, I see no reason why the remainder of the proposed amendments was recommitted. It would have made sense, at least to me, if the first amendment that generated much discussion had been recommitted and the assembly then proceeded to consider the rest.

If, however, what the committee recommended was a revision, I also see no reason why the part mentioning the dues could not have been amended to what the current language was, and the remainder of the document considered seriatim.

Also, the "freedom of action" you mention is just to make clear that once a committee reports a motion back to the assembly the assembly is free to deal with the motion regardless of any previous motions.

With the strange way in which these amendments are being handled, there is a possibility that much needed changes may be held at bay for three years. Does anyone else see the whackyness of this?

RONR is the parliamentary authority of our Society.  I acted based on my understanding of RONR page 279, lines 5 through 23; when in the course of considering by paragraph a subsidiary motion is adopted, in this case Recommit,  then that motion "applies only to the entire series or proposition".  Then lines 18-23 "Motions to Commit......, on the other hand, are taken up as they arise; and, if adopted they affect the entire main question immediately.  If, or when the main question comes before the assembly again later, the consideration by paragraph or seriatim is resumed at the point where it was interrupted."  With 1,300 members in my district, I have chosen to adhere to the book to the best of my understanding at any time.  I believe that is the best rout to protecting the rights of the assembly and its members.  My PRP mentor and another attending RP affirmed my action.    

Regarding  the "Freedom of Action After Referral" -RONR page 176: I believe Robert is speaking about both the committee's and the assembly's freedom to act, not just the assembly.  When a resolution or other main motion gets referred or recommitted to a committee, then "the committee is free to consider and recommend for adoption any amendment to the resolution or motion...without regard to whether or not the assembly, prior to the referral, considered the same or similar amendment and either rejected or adopted it"  When the committee reports,  then yes, the assembly is also free to consider. 

I am neither sure of what "strangeness" you are referring to nor understand your use of "whackyness": not parliamentary terms I am familiar with.  I certainly don't know what the "much need changes may be held at bay for three years" refers to.  So, I don't believe I shall address those statements.  I have so appreciated my PRP mentor's motto that I have adopted it; "Parliamentarians strive to disagree agreeably." 

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On ‎8‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 1:17 PM, Josh Martin said:

Acutally, the previous option is the “primary.” The amendment(s) will come before the assembly as they were worded at the time they were referred to the committee. If the committee wishes to change an amendment, it must offer the change as an amendment to the proposed bylaw amendment.

See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 516-524 for information on the procedures used when a committee reports on a resolution referred to it by the assembly.

Ah, the light just came on, thanks.  I just wasn't seeing it. 

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On 8/3/2018 at 1:31 PM, Jdsrose07 said:

1) In 2016 a Bylaws committee was formed to update the current document and previous notice requirement was met prior to the 2017 meeting.

2) During the 2017 meeting the first amendment proposal was presented.  Heated discussion immediately ensued (it was about dues) and the motion to send the bylaws back to committee was quickly adopted. 
According to the terms of "Commit" (or recommit in this instance) and "Consider Seriatim" (RONR page 29, lines 18-23) when the motion to recommit was adopted, we stopped immediately at that juncture.  The proposed amendment causing the heated debate was the very first on the list so; nothing else got presented and no voting occurred.  Also, nothing was attached to the main motion when it was sent back.

It wasn't clear to me that you dealt with this as a revision (the words "the first amendment proposal" made me think that you were presenting a handful of amendments). Now that  I understand that it was a revision that was being considered seriatim, I agree that you proceeded correctly. However, it is unfortunate that the assembly was not able to consider and express their opinion to the bylaws committee on the other provisions before the entire provision was re-committed. In order to prevent a recurrence, can I suggest two ideas?

One, hold a bylaws hearing where members can discuss, clarify, and comment and and the bylaws committee can hear the comments.

Two, during consideration seriatim, the chair could remind the membership that after each section or paragraph is considered individually, the entire revision is open for consideration and the motion to Commit could be moved at that time.

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