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discussion meeting, the agenda item will be withdrawn from consideration.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.
A motion may be withdrawn by the motion’s sponsor at any time prior to a vote.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
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.
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 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.
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
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.