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December 15, 2011


 Proposal would require 2/3 vote for bylaws amendments

posted November 30, 2011

The AVMA House of Delegates will consider an amendment to the AVMA Bylaws to require a two-thirds vote of the HOD to approve all future bylaws amendments.

Currently, only a majority vote of the HOD is necessary to adopt any bylaws amendment that receives a recommendation of approval from the Executive Board. A two-thirds vote of the HOD is necessary to adopt any bylaws amendment that does not receive a recommendation of approval from the board.

The House Advisory Committee submitted the proposal to require a two-thirds vote to approve all future bylaws amendments. The HOD will consider the proposal at its regular winter session Jan. 6, 2012.

According to the statement accompanying the proposal, Robert's Rules of Order recommend that bylaws amendments require a two-thirds vote for adoption.

"It is important that the House of Delegates receive a recommendation from the Executive Board on each proposed bylaw amendment," according to the background statement. "It is also important that the vote required to change the bylaws is a higher standard than other decisions made by the House. The higher vote requirement gives the bylaws the stability they need and that is recommended by Robert's Rules."

The board, which met in early November, recommended disapproval of the proposal. Although some board members expressed a concern that the proposal would make bylaws amendments that the board supports more difficult to pass, the board largely saw the recommendation for disapproval as a procedural move to ensure that a two-thirds vote of the HOD would be required to approve the very bylaws amendment whose adoption would require a two-thirds vote for all future bylaws amendments.

Also at its regular winter session in January, the HOD will consider a bylaws amendment that would allow all graduates of schools represented in the Student AVMA to qualify for automatic conversion to AVMA membership. The board voted in August to submit the proposal, originating from the Task Force on AVMA Programs for Students and Recent Graduates, with a recommendation for approval (see JAVMA, Oct. 15, 2011, page 1031).