Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Tomm

Two bites of the Agenda Apple

Recommended Posts

Suppose at the beginning of the meeting when the chair asks to approve the agenda a motion is made to add New Business but the motion fails. Then just prior to adjourning the meeting, and since you can't make the same motion twice during the same meeting/session a member makes the actual motion that they had intended to raise if New Business was approved.  

Would this now be allowed because it would instead cause the membership to vote on suspending the rules to allow for the new motion or is basically considered the same failed motion to amend the agenda at the start? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tomm said:

Suppose at the beginning of the meeting when the chair asks to approve the agenda a motion is made to add New Business but the motion fails. Then just prior to adjourning the meeting, and since you can't make the same motion twice during the same meeting/session a member makes the actual motion that they had intended to raise if New Business was approved.  

Would this now be allowed because it would instead cause the membership to vote on suspending the rules to allow for the new motion or is basically considered the same failed motion to amend the agenda at the start? 

I don't agree with the premise that it is not in order for the member to make a motion to add New Business at a later time. For starters, they're technically two different motions - one is a subsidiary motion to Amend and the other is an incidental main motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted. Even if a motion to amend the agenda to add New Business after its adoption was defeated, however, I still don't think that this would prevent a member from making the same motion at a later time in the meeting. The rules pertaining to renewal of motions provide the following:

"A main motion, or a motion for the same amendment to a given motion, cannot be renewed at the same session unless there is a change in wording or circumstances sufficient to present substantially a new question, in which case this becomes technically a different motion." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 338, emphasis added)

That is, a motion with identical wording can potentially become a new motion due to a change in circumstances. It seems to me that a motion to add New Business to an agenda may well be such a motion. In a similar manner, if an incidental main motion to recess for 30 minutes is defeated, this does not mean that another incidental main motion to recess for 30 minutes would be out of order several hours later (by which time the members might be ready for a break), even although the wording of the two motions is identical.

In any event, however, it is correct that another means by which the member could obtain his objective would be to move to Suspend the Rules to permit the introduction of the particular motion he has in mind. There is no doubt that this is a different question than the original motion to amend the agenda. Not only have the circumstances changed, and not only is it an incidental motion to Suspend the Rules rather than a subsidiary motion to Amend, but the two motions don't even do the same thing. Amending the agenda to include New Business as a heading would have permitted the introduction of any items of New Business, whereas the proposed motion to Suspend the Rules would permit the introduction of only the particular main motion in question.

I would note, however, that since we are told that this is done "just prior to adjourning the meeting," this poses some additional difficulties. If the assembly has previously scheduled an adjournment on the agenda (and that is why the assembly is now about to adjourn), the member will need to first deal with that before being able to make other motions. If there is some other reason the assembly is about to adjourn in this hypothetical scenario, please clarify.

"It should be noted that a special order does not interfere with a recess or adjournment that is scheduled for a particular hour. When such an hour arrives, the chair announces it and declares the assembly in recess or adjourned, even if a special order is pending that was made before the hour of recess or adjournment was fixed. When the chair announces the hour, anyone can move to postpone the time for adjournment, or to extend the time of considering the pending question for a specified period. These motions are undebatable and require a two-thirds vote (see also pp. 232, 240–41)." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 370)

Edited by Josh Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...