By Larry Jubie, COL Representative, District 5050
The Council on Legislation meets every three years to discuss and vote on proposed enactments and resolutions. These items are brought forth by Rotary Districts, Rotary Clubs and the RI Board of Directors. We started with 181 items of which 117 items were enactments and 64 were resolutions.
We started on Sunday afternoon and finished on Friday at noon.
This is a recap of the week’s events.
The first nine enactments dealt with Club Administration.
Items that passed provided for written board minutes, club secretary be a member of the board, provided for minimum committees in clubs defined the purpose of a Rotary club and deleted any reference to admission fees in Rotary clubs.
The next eleven items dealt with the Avenues of Service and the Object of Rotary.
Three items were referred to the RI board and almost everything else failed or was withdrawn.
An enactment was approved giving clubs more flexibility in determining how many meetings that they have. There is a requirement that they meet at least twice per month. They can also set applicable attendance requirements.
Clubs will be able to allow for flexibility in membership and classifications. They can remove or change the classification system in their club bylaws. This gives them the ability to retain the classification system as it exists, eliminate it entirely or revise it to be either more or less stringent. The COL also removed the six membership criteria from the RI Constitution and replaced it with a simple requirement that a member must a person of good character who has a good reputation in their business or community and is willing to serve in the community.
Rotaractors will now be able to become members of Rotary Clubs while they are still in Rotaract Clubs. They would still need to be invited to join the same as any other new member.
The distinction between e-clubs and traditional clubs is being eliminated. It was recognized that clubs have been meeting in a number of ways, and given this flexibility, the distinction was no longer meaningful.
There were a number of proposed enactments regarding RI Directors. The only items that passed were for minor changes in the procedures for selecting director-nominees. A proposal to increase the term from two years to three years failed.
A lot of time was devoted to discuss the five year trend in finances for Rotary International. In a very short time, we will be spending more than we are taking in and using the reserve account to fund the shortfall. Most of the morning was spent on the pros and cons of an increase in the annual dues. The Council approved an increase in the RI dues of $4.00 per year. Dues will be as follows:
- $60.00 per year effective July 1, 2017
- $64.00 per year effective July 1, 2018
- $68.00 per year effective July 1, 2019
This enactment aligns membership dues at levels necessary to sustain RI’s current operations and programs well into the future. These dues increases will allow Rotary to improve My Rotary, develop resources so clubs can offer a better membership experience, simplify club and district reporting, improves website access for Rotaractors and update systems.
There were several proposed enactments to change the Council on Legislation. It was agreed that the council will continue to meet every three years to review proposed enactments. It was also agreed that proposed resolutions would be handled on an annual basis online. This meeting there were 64 resolutions to discuss. If these were handled annually, this would leave a much more manageable number of proposed enactments to review. This would leave additional time for debate on the 117 enactments that were proposed this year.
On Thursday afternoon, we had only Regular Legislative Resolutions to discuss. These last 64 resolutions were items that would be referred to the RI Board if they passed by a simple majority vote. Debate was allowed on these items but no amendments to them would be granted. Of these 64 items, only 14 resolutions were passed, 27 were withdrawn and the rest failed. A lot of the withdrawn items were similar in nature to ones that failed. This resulted in the proposers withdrawing resolutions that they felt would not pass.
Since there were only 14 resolutions referred to the RI Board, I will list each of them.
- To endorse and affirm that the eradication of polio is a goal of the highest order of Rotary International.
- To request the RI Board to consider supporting the prevention of sexual mutilation.
- To request the RI Board to consider revising the membership age limits for Interact.
- To request the RI Board to consider promoting Rotary Credit Cards.
- To request the RI Board to consider adding the word “family” to statements on opportunities for service.
- To acknowledge the centennial anniversary of The Rotary Foundation.
- To request the Trustees of TRF to consider amending the terms for Foundation grants to permit the purchase of equipment for pre- or post-surgical care units.
- To request the Trustees to consider reinstating funding for scholarships to support graduate students in areas not related to the areas of focus.
- To request the RI Board to consider acknowledging the role and responsibilities of District Secretaries.
- To request the RI Board to consider reminding clubs of their autonomy.
- To request the RI Board to consider providing all district conferences with a video message from the RI President.
- To request the RI Board to consider proposing legislation to the next Council on Legislation to revise the corporate governance structure.
- To request the RI Board to consider not recommending commercial or licensed branding materials when a free option is available.
- To request the Trustees to consider allowing district grant subcommittee chairs to monitor and review online grant applications.
Remember, these items are all recommended to the RI Board for consideration. They have not been approved.
It was my second time as a Representative to the Council on legislation. It was a lot of work, but also very interesting. We had Representatives from 523 out of 534 Districts. In addition to this, there were a lot of members at large. This includes RI Board members, past RI Presidents, etc. They are allowed to debate or propose legislation but are non-voting members. This covers a lot of countries in the world with different languages, customs and cultures. We all managed to respect each other’s point of view. Everyone needs to be able to voice their opinions. In some instances, my point of view changed after listening to the debate from both sides.
It wasn’t all work and no play. I was able to renew acquaintances with a lot of people and make new friends along the way.
On Tuesday night, the representatives from Zone 24 and 32 had dinner together. Also attending was Past RI President Wilf Wilkinson and Past RI President Cliff Docterman, current Director Julia Phelps, Director Elect Dean Rohrs and past RI Director Bryn Styles.
On Wednesday afternoon, many of us took a tour of Rotary headquarters in Evanston.
If anyone has any questions regarding the Council on Legislation, please feel free to contact me at LWJubie31@hotmail.com. Information is also available at http://www.Rotary.org. I am also available to speak with your club.