lubs and districts are entitled to submit legislation to the Council on Legislation. There are two types of legislation: enactments, which seek to change the constitutional documents (the RI Constitution, the RI Bylaws, and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution), and resolutions, which do not seek to change the constitutional documents. (Note, the Recommended Rotary Club Bylaws are not considered part of the constitutional documents and may only be changed by RI Board action.)
For detailed information about proposing legislation, download article 7 of the RI Bylaws and chapter 13 of the 2010 Manual of Procedure.
What’s new for the 2013 Council?
The 2010 Council made a notable change to the legislative process for the 2013 Council: Proposers of legislation must include a statement of purpose and effect when they submit proposed legislation to RI. See "How to submit legislation" below for more information.
Deadline for submitting legislation
Legislation from clubs and districts for the 2013 Council must be received
at RI headquarters on or before 31 December 2011.
If the legislation is from a club, it must be endorsed by the district. All proposed legislation must be received by the deadline and accompanied by the proposer's purpose-and-effect statement (no more than 300 words) and a form certifying
(PDF) it was endorsed by the district at a district conference or through a ballot-by-mail.
There are no exceptions to this deadline. Each Council there are several districts whose legislation is not submitted to the Council because it arrives at RI headquarters shortly after the deadline. Please do not allow your district's legislation to suffer this fate.
In addition, all districts should forward to RI headquarters all legislation proposed by or endorsed at a district conference within 45 days of the conclusion of the conference or the date fixed by the governor for receipt of the ballots for a ballot-by-mail.
Proposals to amend the RI Constitution, the RI Bylaws, or the Standard Rotary Club Constitution are known as enactments.
Enactments should be carefully developed. Proposers may wish to seek the assistance of their district’s Council representative and review samples of enactments in the 2010 Report of Action as they draft legislation. An enactment template is also available.
To prepare the enactment for submission to RI, proposers should copy and paste the relevant section(s) of the constitutional documents, strike through any portions that are to be deleted, and underline any new text that is to be added. Carefully determine whether the section you have elected to change is the only section that requires changing, or if other parts of the constitutional documents also need to be changed to give effect to the proposal.
Resolutions do not seek to change the RI constitutional documents but instead express an opinion or make a recommendation to the RI Board. Resolutions are typically easier to draft than enactments because they are requesting action from the RI Board. If the resolution would require or request an administrative act that is within the discretion of the RI Board or the general secretary, the Constitution and Bylaws Committee may determine that it is defective and, therefore, recommend that it not be transmitted to the Council. If this situation applies, perhaps the issue may be better handled through a memorial to the Board. The RI Board hears memorials at every meeting, and there may be a more rapid response through this action than by submitting a resolution.
A memorial to the Board is a petition to the Board for action on a specific matter. In many cases where amending the constitutional documents is not necessary, the proposer's purpose can be more efficiently and quickly accomplished by a memorial. Memorials to the Board should be clearly labeled as such and sent to RI headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. See Bringing matters to the RI Board for more information.
A resolution should not be used as a vehicle to avoid drafting an enactment. If the proposed action requires an amendment to the RI constitutional documents, then the proposer should submit an enactment, not a resolution. A resolution template is available.
The RI Constitution and Bylaws Committee, acting on the Board's behalf, examines the texts of all proposed legislation, advises the proposer of any defects in the proposal, and recommends, where feasible, corrective action.
If proposed legislation either is not duly proposed or is defective, the RI Board may direct that it not be transmitted to the Council. In both cases, proposers are informed and have the opportunity to ask the Council to overrule, by a two-thirds vote, the RI Board’s determination.
Where substantially similar legislation is proposed, the RI Board may recommend compromise legislation. If the proposers do not agree to the compromise, the RI Board may nevertheless direct that an alternate that best expresses the objective of the similar proposals be transmitted to the Council.
If proposed resolution is not within the framework of the program of RI, the RI Board will not transmit it to the Council. The proposer will be so informed and have the opportunity to ask the Council to overrule, by a two-thirds vote, the RI Board's determination.
How to submit legislation
Clubs and districts are both eligible to submit legislation to the Council. Detailed information is available in both chapter 13 of the Manual of Procedure and in article 7 of the RI Bylaws , as well as in How to Propose Legislation.
When a club proposes legislation, the club's board of directors must first submit the legislation to the membership for adoption at a regular club meeting. If adopted, the proposal must then be forwarded to the district with a letter signed by the club president and secretary certifying that it has been adopted.
Next, the district conference (district council in Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland) must vote on the piece. If the conference endorses the proposal, the governor completes the certification form and sends both items to RI headquarters in time to meet the 31 December 2011 deadline. If time does not allow for a vote at the district conference, the governor may alternatively conduct a ballot-by-mail of the clubs in the district.
The Council will consider only those club pieces that receive district endorsement.
A district conference (district council in Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland) may also propose legislation. The governor should submit the piece, along with the form certifying that the conference/council proposed it, to RI headquarters in time to meet the 31 December 2011deadline. The legislation may either be submitted with your district conference report, or sent separately to the Council Services Section. If submitted with a district report, please be sure to check the appropriate box on the conference report form.
Proposer's purpose-and-effect statement
When submitting legislation to RI, the proposer must provide a statement of purpose and effect not to exceed 300 words in order for the proposal to be considered duly proposed. This statement should identify the issue or problem that the proposed legislation seeks to address and explain how the proposal addresses or resolves the problem or issue.
The RI Bylaws encourage districts to propose or endorse no more than five pieces of legislation in total. It is hoped that if there is less legislation, the Council will have more time for in-depth examination of legislation.
Proposers may deliver to the general secretary amendments to their proposed legislation no later than 31 March 2012, unless this deadline is extended by the RI Board (the Constitution and Bylaws Committee acting on its behalf).
No later than 30 September 2012, the general secretary distributes 10 copies of all duly proposed legislation to each governor, one copy to all members of the Council and all past directors, and one copy to the secretary of any club that requests it. The proposed legislation is also posted on this website.
Statements of support and opposition
A club, a district conference, the RIBI General Council or RIBI Conference, the Council on Legislation, or the RI Board may provide a statement commenting on any item of legislation proposed to the Council. These statements may support, oppose, or comment on proposed legislation and must be limited to one side of a sheet of standard-size business stationery. Statements must be submitted to the general secretary no later than two months before the opening of the Council ( 21 February 2013. ) The general secretary will then transmit the statements to all members of the Council.
The General Secretary
c/o Council Services Section
1560 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201 USA