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Guest Andrew S. Becker

Are there instances where resolutions can be amended without a vote?

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Guest Andrew S. Becker

Members of an executive board I'm on were considering both resolutions and bylaws amendments to forward to our central committee.  The resolutions were forwarded to us by a resolutions committee, except for a late resolution submitted by a member.  The bylaws amendments were mostly product of our rules committee, although one was mostly unchanged as submitted by a member.

 

When considering these items, our chair and other board members insisted that a vote was not required on each amendment they wished to make to these typed resolutions and bylaws amendments.  After some argument from me about this, they then insisted that the motion to pass the resolutions and bylaws amendments was a combined motion to simultaneously amend them.  ("I move to pass the resolution with the following amendments: ...")

 

Is this allowed under Robert's Rules?  Must not the resolution or bylaws amendment be amended first, each amendment passing or failing, before voting on the motion as amended after all amendments have been disposed of?

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Guest Zev

For clarification purposes, would you please explain the nature of the relationship between the central committee and the executive board, and between the executive board and the resolutions and rules committees.  

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I'm curious where the Executive Board gets the authority to approve or amend bylaws amendments proposed by a general member.  What would be the effect of such a vote?

To whom do the Rules and Bylaws Committees report; the board, the membership, the central committee, something else?   

It is possible to move to "Suspend the Rules and Pass the resolution [...] with the following amendments", but that would not allow for any debate/discussion, no way to perfect any of the amendments, and if seconded would lead to a straight up or down vote.  Anyone with even a small concern would have no choice but to vote it down, and a 2/3 vote would be required for passage.  But i'm still wondering if the board really is authorized to have such control over bylaws amendments.

Edited by Gary Novosielski

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Guest Andrew S. Becker

The Central Committee is the main membership body of our organization.  The Resolutions and Rules committees are two of our standing committees of the Central Committee.  Our Executive Board consists of the officers elected by the Central Committee, and is an administrative body that governs the society between meetings.  The Executive Board sets the agenda for Central Committee meetings.  It reviews resolutions or bylaws amendments passed out of the respective standing committees and can either: refer them back to a standing committee instead of placing them on the Central Committee meeting agenda, amend them and then place them on the Central Committee meeting agenda, or simply kill them.  (It is, however, possible to bring items to the floor of the Central Committee without them being placed on the agenda by the Executive Board, through a different process.)

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Thank you for the clarification. Given the situation that you described (and assuming that that is what the bylaws say, rather than the board usurping authority 😁), you are correct.

17 hours ago, Guest Andrew S. Becker said:

Must not the resolution or bylaws amendment be amended first, each amendment passing or failing, before voting on the motion as amended after all amendments have been disposed of?

I agree with Mr. Novosielski that you can do it all in one vote with Suspend the Rules, but I also agree with his cautions about doing it that way.

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