This is a quick guide on the motion to Take from the Table.
- What motion should you use to bring a motion that has been laid on the table back before the group again for consideration?
Use the motion called Take from the Table.
- What should you say?
Say this: “I move to take from the table the motion related to [describe the motion] that was laid on the table earlier in this meeting.”
- When can you make this motion?
You can make this motion only when no other motion is on the floor.
- Can you interrupt another speaker to make this motion?
- Does someone have to say, “Second” after this motion is proposed?
- Can people debate the pros and cons of this motion?
- Can this motion be amended?
- How many votes does this motion need to pass?
Majority. At least a majority of the members present and voting must vote in favor of the motion to Take from the Table.
- While a group is considering a main motion on a large expenditure, a member of the Finance Committee informs the group that he thinks the group’s finances are actually not as stable in the long term as the group believes.
- Member A hears the Finance Committee member’s remarks and thinks that the group should have an opportunity to hear the Treasurer’s Report and ask questions before continuing its discussion of the expenditure. Member A isn’t sure if the group will even be able to continue considering the expenditure after it hears from the Treasurer.
- Member A rises, seeks recognition, and says, “I move to lay the main motion related to the expenditure on the table.”
- Member B seconds the motion.
- The Chair says, “What is the urgent reason that requires laying the main motion on the table?”
- Member A says, “I think the group needs an honest picture of its finances for the long term before it considers spending such a large sum of money.”
- The Chair repeats the motion and takes a vote, and a majority of the members present and voting vote in the affirmative. The motion is laid on the table.
- Later in the meeting, the Treasurer presents her report and the group asks questions.
- Immediately after the presentation of the Treasurer’s Report, Member C, who wasn’t worried about the finances in the first place, moves to take the motion related to the large expenditure from the table.
- Member D says, “Second.”
- The Chair repeats the motion to Take from the Table and takes a vote.
- If a majority of the members present and voting vote in the affirmative, the motion regarding the large expenditure will be taken from the table and the group will begin considering it again. If a majority do not vote in the affirmative, the motion will not be taken from the table.
What the Pros Know
- A motion that is laid on the table stays there through the current meeting and through the next regular meeting as long as the next meeting is within three months. The motion to Take from the Table must be made within those time limits. Otherwise, the motion dies.
- A motion cannot be taken from the table at a special meeting unless it was laid on the table earlier in that same meeting, or unless the meeting notice included notice that a motion laid on the table in a prior meeting would be taken from the table in this meeting.
- A motion to Take from the Table gets priority over other new main motions.
- When a motion is taken from the table, it comes back before the group in the same posture that it was laid on the table. For example, if a main motion was laid on the table with a motion to Refer to Committee and a motion to Postpone to a Certain Time attached to it, then all of those motions are still attached when the motion comes back from the table.
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