Every three years Rotary’s Council on Legislation meets in Evanston, Illinois to discuss, debate and decide on issues raised by Rotarians in the form of Proposed Legislation. Every District is represented on the Council, which met in April 2019, and our District was represented by PDG George Robertson-Burnett.

The following is a report from George on the outcome of the 2019 Council on Legislation:

The Council on Legislation 2019

117 Enactments were discussed, passed, rejected or withdrawn, at this year’s Council on Legislation:

  • Number 18 was the first one to be adopted, and it simply said that “Each Club shall endeavor to build a well balanced membership that celebrates diversity”
  • There were some enactments which passed which were only minor tinkering with the Constitution or Standard Rotary Club Constitution – tidying up or minor changes to deadlines, documents etc.
  • Our ruling Documents were also brought up to date, with new language and the removal of redundant information or text.
  • Following the untimely loss of Sam Owari the rules and procedures regarding filling vacant RI President or RI President Elect positions were reviewed and amended – an alternate will now be selected by the Nominating Committee. The selection process for RI President was also amended to contain the affirmation that the Selection will be made “regardless of their Country of Residence – however they can not nominate candidates from the same country two years consecutively.
  • The necessity for Conference to approve the selection of the the District’s Nominating Committee Representative (For Director) was removed, this person can now be selected by the District Nominating Committee.
  • There were some changes adopted to the financial reporting system for Districts with extended deadlines and a simplification of procedure, and now a vote by a majority of Clubs to have a District Legislative Meeting is sufficient to mandate it being called by the DG.
  • The General Secretary of Rotary has a new title, he is now the CEO, although it is felt that many will still use the term General Secretary, it is felt the CEO title will help him deal with outside companies he deals with, and will assist recruitment when a ‘General Secretary’ is sought.
  • The Board sought and were given permission to change the name of the ROTARIAN magazine if they wished, they want it to reflect a readership beyond just Rotarians.
  • An Enactment allowing the Board to Terminate a Club if it’s membership falls below 6 (at the request of the DG) was adopted – it is not compulsory to remove these Clubs, it can be done if desired.
  • Dues will be increased by $1 per year, for three years commencing 2020/21.
  • Urgent Enactments can now be sent to the Council on Resolutions to speed up the process, it this can only be done in cases of genuine need. Other measures to streamline the Council on Legislation were passed, but no alterations were made to the three year cycle, although an Enactment was passed curtailing the non-voting members who can attend – effectively removing all Past RI Presidents and
    many of the Board members – thus hopefully saving $118,000 from the $3.3 million budget.
  • An Enactment allowing RI to become a 501(c)(3) organization was hotly debated with a fear in some, that this would spell the end of the Foundation as a separate entity. However cooler heads prevailed and the enactment was passed. This does not overly effect Rotary Clubs at present, the IRS have approved in outline, but some work still needs to be done to ensure Clubs can retain their 501(c)(4) status.
  • Finally an Enactment allowing Rotaract Clubs to be members of Rotary International was eventually passed after initial rejection due to differing concerns regarding whether Rotaract Clubs (and Rotaractors) would actually want this, plus concerns that it had not been fully thought through. It did pass by a 74% majority eventually. There is no attempt here to make Rotaractors Rotarians, but moves Rotaract from being a project of Rotary, to being a partner organization.

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I was honored to be your Representative at the COL19, and was also honored to speak in support of changes to streamline the COL procedures, these procedures were adopted.

District 6890 Representative- PDG George Robertson- Burnett

For more information on the 2019 Council, click here.