RI’s tax status changed from a 501(c)4 to a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the US Internal Revenue Code.

#6 in a series
Enactments 19-96 to 19-115 dealt with proposed changes to the before, during and after periods of the Council on Legislation itself.
Rotary International provides a good summary of what occurred during this session, however I have reordered their report to correspond more closely with the chronological order which took place.
 
An attempt to make the Council smaller and meet more frequently failed.
 
As Rotary reports
A measure to allow the Council to meet every two years, instead of three, but with a smaller number of delegates, failed 174-334. 
 
The Board argued having a smaller half-sized council meet more frequently would make the process more manageable with more robust debate, and allow Rotary to be nimble and flexible. Districts would have been paired, with one district's delegate attending every other council. 
 
But opponents were against shrinking the council, denying districts the ability to send its own representative every time. 
 
On the other hand a motion allowing the council to meet on line before meeting face to face to find where agreement existed at the 80% level did pass so that those items could be dispatched with “consent” which is a small step in streamlining proceedings. Although only 117 resolutions were dealt with in 2019, the high end is 613.
 
Another rather strange streaming feature also passed “by the narrowest of margins”.  Council members voted 258-252 to strike RI past presidents, and all but one board member from taking part in future councils as non-voting members. The president, president-elect, and one director would remain as non-voting members. It was put forward as a cost saving measure.
 
Notes revealed that in 2016 the cost of hosting the COL was 3.3 million, with the cost of the average delegate at $3,600. The 17 member board plus 14 Past presidents cost was $118,000 or $3,800 per non-voting delegate. In my view the decision smacks more like an attempt by Past District Governors to retain control of the Council and lessen the influence of the Directors and Past-Presidents even though they are non-voting delegates.
 
The Director’s did make a major gain with an “emergency” piece of legislation gaining approval. The Board may now propose legislation it deems urgent to the Council on Resolutions, which meets online every year, instead of waiting for the next Council on Legislation. Proposal 19-96 passed 325-182, and offers the Board a means of recommending constitutional changes more frequently than every three years. Evidently something similar already exits but it has never been used.  Given where RI’s strategic plan is pointing, especially in Strategic Priority Four on future governance, I think the odds just increased this new authority may be put to use.
 
Regarding the change in tax status, although it passed 374-120 the very vocal minority “feared the measure would change the way clubs have to operate by requiring only activities that qualify as charitable, and would harm the reputation of The Rotary Foundation as the charitable arm of Rotary.” Rotary reports however, that “A joint committee, composed of members of both the Board and Foundation, has reviewed the idea for more than 18 months, and argued the change would not change the way Rotary clubs operate or be harmful to The Rotary Foundation.”
 
Finally before closing in two of its last resolutions 19-115 and 19-116 “the Council approved two measures that clean up and modernize The RI Bylaws and standard Rotary Club Constitution, making them more understandable. The enactments make no substantive changes. But proponents noted these documents have not received a comprehensive review like this in almost two decades and have accumulated redundancies and archaic language. So if you've avoided these documents in the past, give the new edition, when available, a second look!”
 
As an historical footnote, “This is also the first time a sitting RI President has ever proposed an item to the Council.”
 
 
PRELIMINARY VOTING RESULTS FOR 2019 COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION
96-103
Councils-pre-meeting procedures
YES
NO
RESULT
19-95
To establish a new target and define the General Surplus Fund
 
 
Withdrawn
19-96
To allow the RI Board to propose urgent enactments to the Council on Resolutions
8.010. Meeting of the Council on Resolutions
ADD-The council shall consider and act on any duly proposed resolutions submitted to it.
ADD 8.050. Enactments Considered by the Council on Resolutions.
The council on resolutions, as a special meeting of the council on legislation, shall consider and act on any enactments duly proposed by the board that the board determines to be of an urgent nature.
ADD 8.060. Deadline for Proposed Resolutions and Enactments
The Board may deliver to the general secretary
urgent enactments no later than 30 June in the year before the year when they are to be considered by the council on resolutions. The board shall not propose legislation relating to The Rotary Foundation without the prior agreement of the trustees.
ADD-THE TERM and Enactments. TO VARIOUS ARTICLES.
325
182
Adopted
19-97
To streamline and modernize any extraordinary meeting of the Council on Legislation
WORDING CHANGE Article 10 Council on Legislation Section 5 — Extraordinary Meeting to Adopt Legislation-MINOR CHANGES TO ALLOW EMERGENCY VOTE-ON LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY THE BOARD -exists now never been used
NEW WORDING
7.060. Extraordinary Meeting of the Council.
7.060.1. Notice.
An extraordinary meeting of the council on legislation may be called by the board in accordance with article 10, section 5 of the RI constitution.  Notice of an extraordinary meeting and the legislation it will consider shall be sent to members and governors no later than 30 days before the meeting is scheduled to convene.  The governors shall notify the clubs in their districts.
7.060.2. Adoption of Enactments.
A two-thirds affirmative vote of the representatives shall be required for the adoption of legislation at an extraordinary meeting of the council on legislation.
.060.3. Procedures.
The procedures applicable at the regular meeting of the council on legislation shall apply at an extraordinary meeting with the following three exceptions:
7.060.3.1. Method of meeting.
An extraordinary meeting may be convened in-person or through electronic communications.
7.060.3.2. Report of Action.
The report of action provided for in subsection 9.150.2. shall be transmitted to the clubs within seven days of the adjournment of the extraordinary meeting.
7.060.3.3. Opposition to Action.
The clubs shall have one month from the time the report is transmitted to the clubs to record their opposition to any action of an extraordinary meeting of the council on legislation.
7.060.4. Effective Date of Action.
Actions of an extraordinary meeting of the council on legislation shall become effective one month after the general secretary has transmitted the report of that council so long as the requisite number of opposition votes has not been filed by clubs.  If the requisite number of clubs have recorded their opposition, the action will be subject to a ballot-by-mail following as closely as possible the provisions of section 9.150.
434
77
Adopted
19-98
To hold the Council on Legislation in August, September, or October and to revise the timetable for submitting proposed legislation
Section 2 — Time and Place.  The council on legislation shall convene
Triennially in April, May, or June August, September, or October, but preferably in April October.
92
420
Rejected
19-99
To amend the deadline for submitting enactments
7.035. Deadline for Proposed Enactments and Position Statements.
Proposed enactments shall be delivered to the general secretary in writing no later than 31 December 31 March in the year preceding the council.
217
272
Rejected
19-100
To amend the provisions for endorsing resolutions
BY ADDING THE WORDS- or   through a ballot-by-mail conducted by the governor, following the procedures in section 14.040. as closely as possible. 
34
137
Rejected
19-101
To amend the definition of defective resolutions
BY ADDING it would request an action that involves the operation, management or implementation of a program, policy or affairs of RI or TRF that is within the discretion of the board or trustees; 
(c) it would request an action which has already been implemented by the board or trustees; or
d)   it is not within the framework of the program of RI.
451
55
Adopted as
Amended
19-102
To authorize consideration of legislation before the in-person meeting of the Council
BY ADDING
7.050.5. Council Consideration of Legislation.
Before any in-person meeting of the council on legislation, the representatives may vote electronically on duly proposed legislation presented for consideration by the council operations committee, after notice and opportunity for comment.  This vote may be part of the council on resolutions. If less than 20 percent of the representatives entitled to vote vote for an enactment, it shall not be considered at the next in-person meeting of the council on legislation. The council on legislation shall consider and act upon such all other duly proposed legislation, and any proffered amendments.
450
65
Adopted
19-103
To authorize consideration of legislation before the in-person meeting of the Council
BY ADDING
7.050.5. Council Consideration of Legislation.
Before any in-person meeting of the council on legislation, the representatives may vote electronically on duly proposed legislation presented for consideration by the council operations committee, after notice and opportunity for comment.  This vote may be part of the council on resolutions. If more than 80 percent of the representatives entitled to vote vote for an enactment, it shall be considered on the consent agenda for the next in-person meeting.  At its next in-person meeting, The the council on legislation shall consider and act upon such the consent agenda, all other duly proposed legislation, and any proffered
439
69
Adopted
104-109
Councils – meetings and representatives
YES
NO
RESULT
19-104
To amend the process for selecting representatives to attend the Council on Legislation
ADD TO 9.010.1 REPRESENTATIVES
For purposes of determining attendance at a meeting of the council on legislation, each district shall be paired with another district in a manner determined by the board.  Of the two representatives from the paired districts, only one representative shall attend a meeting of the council on legislation.  The paired districts shall alternate sending representatives to meetings of the council on legislation in a manner determined by the board.  The representative attending the council on legislation shall be a voting member.  All representatives shall participate in the council on resolutions.   PLUS OTHER SMALL CHANGES TO OTHER ARTICLES TO BRING THEM IN LINE such as a 6 year term vs a three year term.
174
334
Rejected
19-105
To provide for a biennial Council on Legislation
Section 2 — Time and Place.  The council on legislation shall convene triennially biennially in March, April, May, or June, but preferably in April. 
 
 
Withdrawn
19-106
To provide for an annual electronic Council on Legislation
TO REPLACE CURRENT WORDING There shall be a Council on Legislation conducted annually.  The Council on Legislation shall be convened through electronic communication. The board will determine the time of meeting.
ALSO IN 7.010 TYPES OF LEGISLATION
Proposals that are expressions of opinion of the Council on Legislation shall be known as resolutions
AND REDEFINES 7.037.4. Duly Proposed Resolutions.
AND 7.037.5. Defective Resolutions.
 
 
Withdrawn
19-107
To amend the process for selecting Council representatives
9.080. Election of Representatives and Alternates.
9.080.1. Nominees for Election.
If the zone meets at a single institute, the six zone representatives and the alternate representatives will be elected by the past and current _____ RI  officers _____ present at the zone’s annual Rotary institute.  The election shall take place at the zone’s institute in the year two years preceding the council on egislation. The six candidates receiving the most votes cast shall be the representatives to the council on legislation and the council on resolutions.  If here are more than six candidates, the three candidates receiving the next highest votes cast shall be the alternate representatives, to serve only in the event any of the representatives are unable to serve.
THE ABOVE IS ONLY THE HEART OF THE CHANGE-
96
409
Rejected
19-108
To amend the qualifications for Council representatives
BY ADDING-A representative must have attended at least two institutes and one international convention in the last three years at the time of election.  This requirement shall be waived if the candidate has previously served as representative. 
247
252
Rejected
19-109
To amend the timeline for selecting Council representatives
CHANGE LINE IN 9.060.1 The nominating committee procedure, including any challenges and a resulting election, shall be conducted and completed in the year two three years preceding the council on legislation. 
247
252
Rejected
109-115
Councils - miscellaneous
YES
NO
RESULT
19-110
To simplify the credentialing procedures at a Council
9.100. Credentials Committee.
The president shall appoint a credentials committee which shall meet in advance of the council on legislation.  The committee shall examine and certify credentials.  The general secretary shall certify the credentials of representatives.  Any action of the committee general secretary with respect to credentialing may be reviewed by the council on legislation.
403
97
Adopted
19-111
To amend the Council voting provisions
BY ADDING TO Article 9. – 9.120 Quorum
Each member representing a district with more than 1,000 Rotarians shall be entitled to one additional vote for each additional 1,000 Rotarians in the district.  The additional votes shall be determined by the number of Rotarians in the district for whom semiannual payments have been made as of 1 July in the year of the council on legislation.  However, members in RI who have been suspended by the board shall not be entitled to be represented. 
97
147
Rejected
19-112
To amend who is a member of a Council
9.010.4. President, President-elect, Directors, and General Secretary.
The president, president-elect, other members of the board one member of the board elected by the board, and general secretary shall be non-voting members of the councils. AND STRUCK 9.010.5. Past Presidents.
All past presidents of RI shall be non-voting members of the councils.
258
252
Adopted
19-113
To provide that a Council report shall be given at Rotary institutes
ADDED TO 20.020 Rotary institutes
The convener shall report upon the legislation and resolutions reviewed and the action taken by each council on legislation and council on resolutions.
343
252
Adopted
19-114
To amend the process for opposition to Council actions
ADD ITEM TO 9.150.3. Opposition to Council Action.
Forms from clubs recording opposition to action by a council on legislation in adopting any legislation must be certified by the club presidents and received by the general secretary no later than the date stated in the report by the general secretary, which shall be at least two months after the mailing of such report.  The general secretary shall examine and tabulate all forms duly received from clubs recording opposition to action by a council on legislation, and publish the vote totals on Rotary’s website.
323
180
Adopted
19-115
To modernize and streamline the Bylaws of Rotary International without making any substantive changes .
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
19-115 To modernize and streamline the Bylaws of Rotary International without making any substantive changes
This item was drafted to make non-substantive changes to the RI Bylaws.  For months, a special committee reviewed each Bylaw, in order to remove extra words and streamline the format.  No changes to content are made.  The changes are cosmetic, removing redundancies, and improving readability and access by Rotarians.  In the end, the RI Bylaws will be one-third shorter—about 20,000 words instead of 30,000 words—and much easier to use. 
OVER 70 PAGES (PG 303-375) OF REVISIONS TO IMPLMENT 19-115
494
13
Adopted
116-117
Technical Legislation
YES
NO
RESULT
19-116
To modernize and streamline the Standard Rotary Club Constitution without making any substantive changes.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
this item was drafted to make non-substantive changes to the Club Constitution.  For months, a special committee reviewed each section, in order to remove extra words and streamline the format.  No changes to content are made.  The changes are cosmetic, removing redundancies, and improving readability and access by Rotarians.  In the end, the Club Constitution will be one-sixth shorter and much easier to use.
25 PAGES OF REVISIONS TO IMPLMENT 19-116
502
9
Adopted
19-117
To authorize the RI Board to take appropriate action to change RI’s tax status
PURPOSE & EFFECT
The purpose of this enactment is to seek approval from the Council on Legislation, on behalf of the RI membership, to permit the RI Board to change RI to a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the US Internal Revenue Code. 
RI currently is tax exempt under a different section of the US tax code, section 501(c)(4).  The US Internal Revenue service has indicated that RI is eligible to obtain exemption under Section 501(c)(3).  
As a Section 501(c)(3) organization, RI could obtain several benefits, including
  • tax reductions
  • discounts from vendors
  • eligibility for certain corporate sponsorships
  • opportunities for tax benefits for US taxpayers that might wish to support an RI activity
Clubs in the US are currently automatically eligible for tax exemption under section 501(c)(4).  This proposal would have no impact on that automatic tax exemption.
The change in tax exemption would not otherwise change the governance or operations of RI.
 
374
120
Adopted
 
 
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