Area Assembly Floor Procedures

VI. FLOOR PROCEDURES

These floor procedures are intended as a guide to conducting business on the floor of the assembly.

AA principles are our guiding force; floor procedures are meant to help facilitate fair and informed

discussion, never hinder it.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE?

 

All Area Committee members: Officers, Delegate, Past Delegates, Standing Service committee

Chairpersons, Support Positions, DCM's and group GSRs have one vote each in Assembly.

Alternates may vote only if the regular DCM or GSR is not present.

 

PLACING ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

 

Any AA member in Area 27 may place an item on the agenda by presenting it in written form to the

Area Committee agenda meeting in order to be included in the following Assembly's agenda.

Alternatively, it may be presented to a member of the Area Committee who may submit it during the

agenda meeting. If there is an emergency or time-sensitive item that needs immediate attention, the

item must be submitted to the Area Chair for inclusion as a motion during the Saturday agenda item

discussion meeting in order to be included for vote during the Sunday business meeting. All motions

that involve the expenditure of money should be submitted to the Budget & Finance Committee prior

to being introduced on the floor at the business meeting. It is suggested that items concerning or

involving a Standing Service Committee be presented to the committee for discussion prior to

presentation at the Area Committee agenda meeting. Prioritization of agenda items is set by the Area

Chairperson at the agenda meeting immediately following the business meeting. A motion's sponsor

must attend the Saturday agenda discussion meeting to present the agenda item or the agenda item

will be tabled until the next Assembly. If the sponsor is absent at the following Saturday agenda

discussion meeting, the agenda item will be withdrawn from consideration.

 

SECONDS TO MOTIONS

 

Any voting member of the assembly may second a motion by saying, "Second." A second to a

motion does not necessarily mean the member supports the motion, just that the member wants the

motion to be considered and discussed.

 

WITHDRAW

 

A motion may be withdrawn by the motion's sponsor at any time prior to a vote.

 

AMENDMENTS TO MOTIONS

 

After a motion has been stated by the Area Chair, any voting member may offer an amendment, but it

must be seconded and passed by a majority vote. If approved, the Chair then restates the amended

motion and business proceeds.

 

DEBATE & DECORUM

 

Debate is any spoken comment and discussion on the merits or comments in opposition of a pending

motion. When a motion is made and seconded, it must be stated by the chair before any debate. Any

member wishing to speak in debate must come to the microphone and wait until no other member is

speaking. Comments are limited to two minutes and are timed by the Alternate Chair. No member

shall speak twice on a motion until all other members who desire to speak to the motion have had an

opportunity to speak. If at any time the Chair is required to state a point of order or otherwise speak

within the responsibilities of the Chair, then the member speaking should defer to the Chair. Such an

interruption will not count toward the member's time to speak to the motion.

Full discussion of a proposal should take place before the vote. Premature actions (e.g., amending

motions early in discussion or hastily calling the question) can divert attention from the subject at

hand, thus confusing and/or delaying assembly business. Everyone is entitled to, and should

express, their opinion. However, if a point has already been made by someone it is not necessary to

restate their point.

 

CALL THE QUESTION

 

A motion to close debate, commonly referred to as "calling the question," must be made in order at

the microphone. This motion can be used only to close debate, not to prohibit debate, and is

considered "out of order" if made before debate has begun. The call-the-question motion requires a

second, is not debatable, and requires a two-thirds vote to end debate. If passed, the motion on the

floor is is moved to a vote This motion yields to the motion to "lay on the table."

 

LAY ON THE TABLE

 

A motion to "lay on the table" or "table" is usually used when there is a time constraint or more is

needed to make an informed decision. Its purpose is to remove the present motion from consideration

in order to address other, more pressing motions that need to be handled immediately or to give time

to gather more information. A motion to table may be made at any time prior to the vote on the main

motion. It requires a second, is undebatable, unamendable, and requires a majority vote. The tabled

motion may be considered at the next assembly by a member making a motion to "take the tabled

motion off the table." Such a motion requires a second, is undebatable, unamendable, and requires a

majority vote. If a motion is not taken from the table at the next assembly after it was tabled, it

expires upon adjournment of that assembly.

 

POINT OF ORDER

 

A point of order is an assertion that a procedure is being violated and a request that correct

procedure be enforced by the Chair. It takes precedence over any pending motion out of which it

arises. It is in order when another has the floor even if it is necessary to interrupt a speaker. It does

not require a second and is not debatable or amendable. It is decided by the Chair, subject to

appeal. To make a point of order, a member rises and says, "Point of Order." The Chair asks the

member to state his point, and the member does so, being as specific as possible without entering

into debate or asking a question. The Chair then rules on the point of order.

An appeal of the decision of the Chair is permitted by a member announcing, "l appeal the decision of

the Chair."

If the appeal is seconded, the Chair then defines the issue involved, explains the reasons

for his or her decision, and says, "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" An appeal is

debatable, but no member may speak more than once in debate, and the Chair may defend his or her

decision once again at the end of the debate. A majority vote sustains the Chair's decision.

 

VOTING

 

MATTERS OF POLICY

 

All matters of policy/main motions require substantial unanimity, that is, a two-thirds majority. Matters

of policy may be defined as those motions brought before the Assembly that alter the Assembly's

procedures or normal business. Motions to alter elections, the budget, or requests to deviate from the

guidelines are examples of matters of policy. Traditionally, the Assembly has given the Area

Chairperson the discretion to decide whether a motion is a matter of policy, or not.

 

SUBSTANTIAL UNANIMITY

 

Substantial Unanimity is found in Concept Xll of AA World Service. It is intended to ensure that

important decisions are reached by full discussion and a vote. Therefore, all motions on matters of

policy brought to a vote at Area Assembly require a two-thirds majority for passage.

 

QUORUM

 

A quorum shall be the number of voting members present at the time a vote is taken. Because the

number of members present in the hall during Assembly varies from time to time, the phrase

"two-thirds vote" or "majority vote" is taken to mean that quantity of the voting members present at

that time.

 

MINORITY VOICE/MOTION TO RECONSIDER

 

After the establishment or rejection of any matter of policy, the minority will be given an opportunity to

speak. Subsequent to minority comment, the Chairperson will ask if any person voting in the majority

wishes to change their vote. If so, a Motion to Reconsider must be made by a member who voted

with the majority, but it can be seconded by anyone. A simple majority is required to reconsider. No

action can be reconsidered twice during an assembly.

VI. FLOOR PROCEDURES

These floor procedures are intended as a guide to conducting business on the floor of the assembly.

AA principles are our guiding force; floor procedures are meant to help facilitate fair and informed

discussion, never hinder it.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE?

All Area Committee members: Officers, Delegate, Past Delegates, Standing Service committee

Chairpersons, Support Positions, DCM's and group GSRs have one vote each in Assembly.

Alternates may vote only if the regular DCM or GSR is not present.

PLACING ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

Any AA member in Area 27 may place an item on the agenda by presenting it in written form to the

Area Committee agenda meeting in order to be included in the following Assembly's agenda.

Alternatively, it may be presented to a member of the Area Committee who may submit it during the

agenda meeting. If there is an emergency or time-sensitive item that needs immediate attention, the

item must be submitted to the Area Chair for inclusion as a motion during the Saturday agenda item

discussion meeting in order to be included for vote during the Sunday business meeting. All motions

that involve the expenditure of money should be submitted to the Budget & Finance Committee prior

to being introduced on the floor at the business meeting. It is suggested that items concerning or

involving a Standing Service Committee be presented to the committee for discussion prior to

presentation at the Area Committee agenda meeting. Prioritization of agenda items is set by the Area

Chairperson at the agenda meeting immediately following the business meeting. A motion's sponsor

must attend the Saturday agenda discussion meeting to present the agenda item or the agenda item

will be tabled until the next Assembly. If the sponsor is absent at the following Saturday agenda

discussion meeting, the agenda item will be withdrawn from consideration.

SECONDS TO MOTIONS

Any voting member of the assembly may second a motion by saying, "Second." A second to a

motion does not necessarily mean the member supports the motion, just that the member wants the

motion to be considered and discussed.

WITHDRAW

A motion may be withdrawn by the motion's sponsor at any time prior to a vote.

AMENDMENTS TO MOTIONS

After a motion has been stated by the Area Chair, any voting member may offer an amendment, but it

must be seconded and passed by a majority vote. If approved, the Chair then restates the amended

motion and business proceeds.

DEBATE & DECORUM

Debate is any spoken comment and discussion on the merits or comments in opposition of a pending

motion. When a motion is made and seconded, it must be stated by the chair before any debate. Any

member wishing to speak in debate must come to the microphone and wait until no other member is

speaking. Comments are limited to two minutes and are timed by the Alternate Chair. No member

shall speak twice on a motion until all other members who desire to speak to the motion have had an

opportunity to speak. If at any time the Chair is required to state a point of order or otherwise speak

within the responsibilities of the Chair, then the member speaking should defer to the Chair. Such an

interruption will not count toward the member's time to speak to the motion.

Full discussion of a proposal should take place before the vote. Premature actions (e.g., amending

motions early in discussion or hastily calling the question) can divert attention from the subject at

hand, thus confusing and/or delaying assembly business. Everyone is entitled to, and should

express, their opinion. However, if a point has already been made by someone it is not necessary to

restate their point.

CALL THE QUESTION

A motion to close debate, commonly referred to as "calling the question," must be made in order at

the microphone. This motion can be used only to close debate, not to prohibit debate, and is

considered "out of order" if made before debate has begun. The call-the-question motion requires a

second, is not debatable, and requires a two-thirds vote to end debate. If passed, the motion on the

floor is is moved to a vote This motion yields to the motion to "lay on the table."

LAY ON THE TABLE

A motion to "lay on the table" or "table" is usually used when there is a time constraint or more is

needed to make an informed decision. Its purpose is to remove the present motion from consideration

in order to address other, more pressing motions that need to be handled immediately or to give time

to gather more information. A motion to table may be made at any time prior to the vote on the main

motion. It requires a second, is undebatable, unamendable, and requires a majority vote. The tabled

motion may be considered at the next assembly by a member making a motion to "take the tabled

motion off the table." Such a motion requires a second, is undebatable, unamendable, and requires a

majority vote. If a motion is not taken from the table at the next assembly after it was tabled, it

expires upon adjournment of that assembly.

POINT OF ORDER

A point of order is an assertion that a procedure is being violated and a request that correct

procedure be enforced by the Chair. It takes precedence over any pending motion out of which it

arises. It is in order when another has the floor even if it is necessary to interrupt a speaker. It does

not require a second and is not debatable or amendable. It is decided by the Chair, subject to

appeal. To make a point of order, a member rises and says, "Point of Order." The Chair asks the

member to state his point, and the member does so, being as specific as possible without entering

into debate or asking a question. The Chair then rules on the point of order.

An appeal of the decision of the Chair is permitted by a member announcing, "l appeal the decision of

the Chair."

If the appeal is seconded, the Chair then defines the issue involved, explains the reasons

for his or her decision, and says, "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" An appeal is

debatable, but no member may speak more than once in debate, and the Chair may defend his or her

decision once again at the end of the debate. A majority vote sustains the Chair's decision.

VOTING
MATTERS OF POLICY

All matters of policy/main motions require substantial unanimity, that is, a two-thirds majority. Matters

of policy may be defined as those motions brought before the Assembly that alter the Assembly's

procedures or normal business. Motions to alter elections, the budget, or requests to deviate from the

guidelines are examples of matters of policy. Traditionally, the Assembly has given the Area

Chairperson the discretion to decide whether a motion is a matter of policy, or not.

SUBSTANTIAL UNANIMITY

Substantial Unanimity is found in Concept Xll of AA World Service. It is intended to ensure that

important decisions are reached by full discussion and a vote. Therefore, all motions on matters of

policy brought to a vote at Area Assembly require a two-thirds majority for passage.

QUORUM

A quorum shall be the number of voting members present at the time a vote is taken. Because the

number of members present in the hall during Assembly varies from time to time, the phrase

"two-thirds vote" or "majority vote" is taken to mean that quantity of the voting members present at

that time.

MINORITY VOICE/MOTION TO RECONSIDER

After the establishment or rejection of any matter of policy, the minority will be given an opportunity to

speak. Subsequent to minority comment, the Chairperson will ask if any person voting in the majority

wishes to change their vote. If so, a Motion to Reconsider must be made by a member who voted

with the majority, but it can be seconded by anyone. A simple majority is required to reconsider. No

action can be reconsidered twice during an assembly.