This is a quick guide on how to use the motions to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted.
- What motion should you use to cancel an action that the group has taken, or to change the wording of a motion that the group has adopted?
Use the motion called Rescind or the motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted.
- What should you say?
Say this: “I move to rescind the motion that the group adopted at the June meeting regarding [describe the motion].” OR “I move to amend the motion that the group adopted at its June meeting [describe the motion] so that it would read [describe the reworded motion].”
- When can you make either of these motions?
You can make these motions only when no other motion is on the floor.
- Can you interrupt another speaker to make either of these motions?
- Does someone have to say, “Second” after either of these motions are proposed?
- Can people debate the pros and cons of these motions?
Yes. The group can debate the merits of rescinding or amending a previous action, and the group can also debate the merits of the motion that may potentially be rescinded or amended.
- Can these motions be amended?
Yes. The group can amend a motion to rescind so that it becomes a motion to amend something previously adopted instead. Or a group can amend a motion to amend something previously adopted by increasing or decreasing the scope of what is to be amended in that previously adopted motion.
- How many votes do these motions need to pass?
Either (1) a majority of those present and voting (if notice that the motion will be made is given in advance), or (2) at least two-thirds of those present and voting (if notice that the motion will be made was not given in advance). Note: This motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted can also pass, regardless of whether notice was given ahead of time, if a majority of the entire membership of the group votes in the affirmative.
- At an all-day business meeting, a group adopts a motion to sponsor a golf tournament at Hilton Head National and give the funds to the Red Cross and a local homeless shelter.
- After the meeting concludes, Member A learns that Hilton Head National is hosting a stop on the PGA tournament during the week when the group typically holds its big fundraiser.
- Prior to the next meeting, Member A informs the Executive Director that he wants to make a motion to amend the motion regarding the golf tournament so that the tournament will be held at Whistling Straights, not at Hilton Head National.
- The Executive Director makes sure that the meeting notice includes notice of the motion that Member A intends to make.
- At the next meeting, Member A seeks recognition and says, “I move to amend the motion regarding the golf tournament that we adopted at the last meeting, striking ‘Hilton Head National’ and inserting ‘Whistling Straights.’”
- Member B says, “Second.”
- The Chair repeats the motion, asks for discussion, and takes a vote.
- If a majority of the members present and voting vote in the affirmative, then the motion to amend is adopted and the motion is amended. If a majority of those present and voting do not vote in the affirmative, then the previously adopted motion is not amended and the group proceeds with its business as planned.
What the Pros Know
- A motion to Rescind would follow the exact same format as the above example, with substitution of the word Rescind instead of Amend and accompanying amendment details.
- Unlike the motion to Reconsider, there is no time limit on the motions to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted.
- A few particular actions may not be rescinded or amended: When a resignation has been acted upon, or when a member has been elected to an office or expelled from office and notified of that fact, then the resignation, the election, and the expulsion cannot be rescinded or amended later.
- If a member plans to make a motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted, she must notify an officer ahead of time so that when the meeting notice is given, the intent to make this motion is included in the meeting materials. As explained above in The Skinny, if notice of the motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted is not included in the meeting notice, at least two-thirds of those present and voting must vote in favor of the motion for it to be adopted.
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