During its regular annual session July 10 in Seattle, the 2009 House of Delegates considered and approved a resolution requesting that the Executive Board authorize taking up to $175,000 from the AVMA reserves to reimburse delegates and alternate delegates for travel expenses to the 2010 winter and annual sessions at amounts consistent with 2009 funding.
Resolution 5 was the first resolution submitted by one of the HOD reference committees under a new provision in the HOD Manual allowing that pathway.
The resolution was submitted by Reference Committee 4 on Finance, chaired by Kentucky delegate Dr. Barbara A. Schmidt. The committee prefaced the resolution with a positive acknowledgement that the Executive Board had developed and approved a balanced 2010 budget.
Travel funding had been cut to $550 per meeting for each delegate and alternate as one of many cost-saving measures the board took this past spring to achieve a balanced budget. Prior to 2009, delegates and alternate delegates were reimbursed for airfare and $500 for the regular annual session, and airfare and $400 for the regular winter session.
Before approving Resolution 5, the HOD heard considerable discussion, with some delegates suggesting this would not be best for the AVMA. But ultimately, the HOD agreed with the reference committee that funding at the 2009 level would enable all veterinary organizations represented in the HOD to participate, and would foster recruitment of new and younger members. The 2009 funding reimburses HOD members for up to three nights' lodging and airfare.
Dr. Gregg J. Cutler, American Association of Avian Pathologists alternate delegate, said, "An active, diverse, healthy House of Delegates is best for AVMA."