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MEETING POINTS #4
REFER OR COMMIT

continued from April issue

Did you know that if the assembly needs more information about the Main Motion or wants a study to determine if the proposal is advisable, it can refer the main motion to a committee? Referring can save valuable time and allow the assembly to obtain the information it needs to make an informed decision.



Sometimes a main motion will reach the floor in such a poor state that the assembly does not have the time or information to fix it through amendments. A committee, either Standing or Special, is a relatively small group of people assigned to carefully review a main motion, gather more information, suggest amendments to the motion to put it into better condition, or to make a recommendation about the adoption of the main motion.

One advantage of referring a motion to a committee rather than postponing it is that referral allows the assembly to keep a proposal alive for several meetings or over a longer period of time while it is being worked on. The motion To Postpone allows the assembly to carry a motion over the next meeting only. A committee works with a motion until it is able to report a recommendation or until the assembly requires it to report.

There are two types of committees. Standing Committees are constituted to perform a continuing function and remain in existence permanently. In most organizations, the chairmen and members of Standing Committees serve for a term corresponding to that of the officers. Standing Committees must be named and described in the bylaws.

Special Committees (also called select or ad hoc) are appointed as need arises to carry out a specific task. When the special task is completed and the committee makes its final report, the Special Committee ceases to exist.

EXAMPLES OF THE
MOTION TO COMMIT

To Refer a main motion to a Standing Committee: "I move to refer the pending motion to the Finance Committee to review all costs associated with hosting the July 9, 2017 Governor's Conference and to report a recommendation at our May meeting."

To Refer a main motion to a Special Committee: "I move to refer the pending motion to a special committee of five Board members to be appointed by the President. This committee is instructed to review all costs associated with hosting the July 9, 2017 Governor's Conference and to report a recommendation at our May meeting."

The Committee's Report has four parts:

  • A description of how the committee

  • carried out its instructions

  • The facts uncovered

  • The conclusions derived

  • Recommendations in the form of motions.

 

— Jim Williams, PRP

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Jim Williams

Mature male living in Ohio.  Enjoys calligraphy, reading, classical and jazz, theater, and parliamentary law.  Desires friends but not looking for sexual hookups.