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PTA Patty

Precedence of state association's procedures over a regional association's bylaws

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We are a chartered regional constituent association of a state association. We each have a set of bylaws. The bylaws of our association state that we are obligated to comply with the bylaws of the state association and that our bylaws will not be in conflict with the state association's bylaws.

The state association has adopted procedures that complement bylaws by providing details not outlined there. Together, the bylaws and procedures provide for the authority and administration of the affairs of the state association.  Recently a procedure was presented for adoption to the board of the state association. As per the state and regional bylaws, the regional association receives funds from the state for regional activities. The proposed procedure defines exact ways the regional association should spend the funds provided to it by the state association. The procedure would require funds be used for activities that take place outside of the region.

Can the state association adopt a procedure that takes precedence over the regional association's bylaws?

 

 

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Guest Zev

What does the state association say to the observation that the so-called "procedures" are in violation of their own bylaws, and what is their reaction when informed that their request that the funds be spent in a particular manner also requires that the regional association violate the regional bylaws?

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Can you explain the conflict? Is there something, in some set of bylaws (which one?) requiring that the regional association only spend money inside the region?

In any event, is there anything in either set of bylaws permitting the state organization to adopt standing rules (which is what the procedures probably are, from a parliamentary standpoint) that are binding on the regional organization? Nothing in the summary presented here implies that, but of course we don't know the rest of the bylaws.

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Zev: Those presenting the motion for the state association did not feel they were violating their own bylaws and when it was pointed out that the procedure was in conflict with the regional association bylaws, they stated that their procedures take precedence over them.

 

Joshua Katz: Our state association is required to provide funds to our regional association. The state bylaws have no details on how the funds are to be used, the region bylaws state that the funds are to be used for region activities. The state association now wants to adopt a procedure to put restrictions on how the funds are used to the point where a portion of the funds will be "use them or lose them".  The restrictions involve spending the funds for outside of the region activities.

There is no reference in either set of bylaws permitting the state organization to adopt standing rules that are binding on the regional organization.

 

 

 

Edited by PTA Patty
missed word

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1 hour ago, PTA Patty said:

 There is no reference in either set of bylaws permitting the state organization to adopt standing rules that are binding on the regional organization.

 

Then it seems to me that it cannot. It can, likely at least, attach conditions to funds provided. If your bylaws prohibit meeting those conditions, then you don't get the money. But that's not certain - it depends on the language requiring the state organization to give money to the regional organization. Since we don't interpret bylaws here, I'm not sure there's much I can add beyond that.

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Guest Zev

Can you make your case to the national association and get them to make the state association see things differently?

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11 hours ago, PTA Patty said:

Can the state association adopt a procedure that takes precedence over the regional association's bylaws?

Ultimately, this is a matter of bylaws interpretation. That is something that only your state and Regional associations can do. Each group must interpret its own bylaws. It is also as much a legal question as it is a parliamentary one.

With more information, including the precise wording of the relevant section of each set of bylaws, along with the exact wording of the rule in question, we could give you our personal opinions. However, those would be just our personal opinions and would not amount to much in the grand scheme of things since each group must interpret its own bylaws.

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Thanks for taking the time to respond- I appreciate the opportunity to reach out to other via this forum.

In preparing for the motion to be brought back to the board for approval, I will make sure all board members have a copy of the wording for each association's bylaws related to the funds. I think that will help us make a better decision because I do agree about it being a matter of interpretation.

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