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Is a Motion Amendable -- Specific Facts


Guest Ken Greenberg
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Guest Ken Greenberg

I am chairing the "Rules Revision" Committee of an organization.

Our By-Laws say that any By-Law Amendment must be "read" to the Organization at one monthly meeting, and then the "Exact Language" must be presented to the group in writing in the announcement of the next meeting.

Our concern is that if the Exact Language is sent, and someone then tries to amend the By-law Amendment, we, in effect have to start over (since the Amended By-Law Change won't be the Exact Language now being voted upon).

I would love to come to the conclusion that either (I) once the Exact Language is sent, you need an up or down vote (i.e., no amendments) or (II) that a floor amendment is doesn't require delaying to the next month, but am having trouble getting there. (Nothing in our by-laws would specifically preclude an amendment).

Does it make a difference if the By-Law Change is time sensitive (so that delay would defeat a part of the purpose)?

Any Thoughts?

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5 minutes ago, Guest Ken Greenberg said:

I would love to come to the conclusion that either (I) once the Exact Language is sent, you need an up or down vote (i.e., no amendments) or (II) that a floor amendment is doesn't require delaying to the next month, but am having trouble getting there. (Nothing in our by-laws would specifically preclude an amendment).

Adding a floor amendment (provide it is within the scope of the original notice of the proposed bylaw amendment) does not require "new notice" and need not delay the vote.  Unless your bylaws clearly provide otherwise, giving notice of the original proposed bylaw amendment is all that is required. 

An example of being within the scope of notice, if the proposed amendment is to raise your dues from $50 per year to $100 per year, a floor amendment to change the figure to anything between the current $50 and the proposed $100 is "within the scope of notice".  But, a floor amendment to raise the dues to $125 exceeds the scope of the original notice to raise the dues to only $100.  Such a floor amend exceeds the scope of notice and would be out of order.  Basically, a floor amendment in your case has limits on what it can accomplish. 

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