Rotary International 2007 Council on Legislation

The Council on Legislation, Rotary's "parliament,' meets every three years to deliberate and act upon all proposed enactments and resolutions submitted by clubs, district conferences, the General Council or the Conference of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, or the Rotary International Board. The council itself also makes proposals.

The council is composed of more than 500 representatives from every part of the Rotary world. Voting members include one elected representative of the clubs of each Rotary district. Non-voting members include the chairman and vice chairman of the council, and others, including the RI president and members of the RI Board and past RI presidents.

The council first convened in 1934 as an integral part of that year's international convention in Detroit, Michigan, USA. In 1970, it was constituted as the legislative body of RI, no longer to function just in an advisory capacity. Actions of the council are subject to review by all Rotary clubs prior to being incorporated into the Manual of Procedure.

The 2007 Council on Legislation will take place on 22-28 April 2007 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Download Rotary eClub NY1's proposed legislation

Introduction
The triennial Council on Legislation is an important part of Rotary’s governance process. While the Board of Directors sets policies for Rotary International, the Council on Legislation allows Rotary clubs to have their say in the governance of the association. Every three years each district sends a representative to the Council, which reviews legislation, much as a parliament would. Every club and district is entitled to submit legislation to the Council, and some of the most important work of Rotary results from Council action. Women were admitted into Rotary thanks to the action of the 1989 Council on Legislation, while PolioPlus was born as the result of action taken by the 1986 Council. INDEX follows:
· 2007 Council
· Representatives
· Zone Institutes
· Informational Mailings
· Registration Materials
· Travel Expenses
· Discussion Forum
· Legislation
· What Happens to Legislation?
· Statements of Support and Opposition Contact Information
· Contact Information
2007 Council
The next Council on Legislation will be held 22-28 April 2007 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. John Germ will serve as Council Chairman, John Boag will serve as Council Vice-Chairman, and Rolf Hörndler will serve as Parliamentarian.
Interesting Fact
In 2004, over 600 pieces of legislation were submitted for the Council on Legislation. The Council ultimately reviewed 476 pieces of legislation in a five-day meeting. It was widely felt that this quantity of legislation was too great for effective review. (By contrast, the 1998 Council reviewed only 282 pieces.) Of the pieces originally submitted, over 200 came from just 23 districts. For the Council to truly function at its best, it is important that clubs and districts be very discriminating in the legislation they submit.
Representatives
Each district has elected a representative and an alternate to the 2007 Council. In the event that a district’s representative cannot attend the Council, the elected alternate will attend. In the event that neither the representative nor the alternate can attend, the district governor can appoint a qualified Rotarian from that district to act as representative. The general secretary must be notified if neither the representative nor the alternate can attend; otherwise difficulties may arise during the credentialing process at the Council. The official language of the Council is English. However, simultaneous interpretation is provided in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. All Council representatives and alternates should be fluent in one of these languages in order to perform effectively at the Council.
Zone Institutes
Beginning in September 2006, Rotary Zone Institutes will convene. Representatives should attend their zone institute to receive important training instruction and materials about the Council. In addition, each institute will have a session open to all Rotarians to discuss proposed legislation that the Board has deemed of particular interest.
Informational Mailings
Between December 2006 and April 2007, representatives will receive several mailings from RI regarding the Council. All mailings should be reviewed by representatives before attending the Council. Each representative will receive a book of proposed legislation, which will likely be provided in two volumes. The first volume of legislation will be mailed and posted on this website no later than 31 December 2006. The second volume of legislation will likely mail during February 2007. A binder containing all the legislation will be provided to each representative at the Council. As the Council approaches, important information will be posted on this website; therefore, representatives should visit this site more frequently for updates and information.
Registration Materials
The RI Meetings Division will mail registration materials for the Council in October of this year. Registration will also be available through the Internet, so please frequently visit this website for updates. Also, please keep in mind that it may take a long time to obtain a visa (if required) and plan accordingly. Letters of invitation will be mailed beginning in early September 2006.
Travel Expenses
Representatives attend the Council at RI’s expense; this includes hotel room, meals, airfare, visa fees, inoculations fees, and travel expenses resulting from travel delays of 10 hours or more. Further explanation will be provided with the registration materials.
Discussion Forum
A discussion forum for the 2007 Council on Legislation is available to all Rotarians. This forum allows Rotarians to discuss legislation and other Council related issues. This forum can be found at: http://forums.rotary.org/
Legislation
What happens to legislation once it is received at headquarters?
Staff first reviews the legislation to ensure that it is has been endorsed by the district, certified by the governor, and has arrived by the 30 June 2006 deadline. Legislation that arrives after the deadline, even if it is postmarked prior to 30 June, will not be considered.
Staff then prepares the legislation for review by the Constitution & Bylaws Committee. The Constitution & Bylaws Committee usually meets monthly for a period of four or five months. At these meetings, they review each piece of legislation to determine whether it is correctly drafted. The Committee, working with staff, also develops Purpose and Effect statements and Financial Impact Statements for each piece. Where pieces are similar, the Committee often recommends a compromise piece to the proposers. The work of the Council is greatly facilitated when proposers agree to compromise proposals because it allows the Council to examine a single proposal in depth, as opposed to rapidly moving through multiple proposals on the same topic. For those pieces that require further drafting, the Constitution & Bylaws Committee may make recommended changes working through staff and district Council representatives or proposers. Ultimately, however, it is the proposers’ responsibility to submit legislation that is properly drafted. The Committee then reports its findings to the RI Board, which makes a final determination as to whether the legislation is:
1. duly proposed;
2. deficient or defective, in which case it may not go forward to the Council unless corrected by the proposers; or
3. not within the framework of Rotary, in which case it may not go forward to the Council.
Statements of Support and Opposition
A club, district conference, the general council or conference of RIBI, the Council on Legislation or the RI Board may provide a Statement of Support or Opposition commenting on any item of legislation. Statements must be submitted up to two months prior to the opening of the Council (22 February 2007). These Statements may be in support or opposition to legislation and must be no longer than one side of a sheet of normal business stationery. Send them to the Council Services Section at Rotary International, along with the number of the piece to which you are referring (e.g. 07-036). These statements will then be distributed to the voting members of the Council.

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