Wednesday, December 05, 2007
There was a bill to give some $200 to some Co-Op thingie for some purpose. It failed in committee, and then was resurrected on Rebecca Coleman's motion:
Ms. Coleman SB 106 was failed in Fi-Comm on Monday night. The bill asked for $200 to buy two banners for more visibility for the Co-ops on Sproul. They changed their name to the "Berkeley Student Cooperative," and the reason the bill failed was because she wouldn't compromise. As they know, Fi-Comm had a soft cap for first-year student activity groups of $150, and a hard cap of $200. Ms. Coleman said she wanted the full allocation, so she allowed the bill to fail. But that was a mistake. She talked to the Berkeley Student Cooperative External Affairs Committee and they would really like the bill to be reconsidered, and would like to accept the $150 that Fi-Comm would have given to them. So she would ask the Senate to please allow the bill to be resurrected.Okay. Now skip ahead to consideration. Rebecca Coleman suddenly wants $200 again.
Mr. Wu said he respected the work that Fi-Comm did. He supported the amendment not because of the dollar amount, but because when the Senate voted to revise the bill, Ms. Coleman said she would be willing to compromise at $150. Frankly, the request was now $200, and he didn't like being misled. It was his impending that would be the amount when they decided to resurrect the bill. Ms. Coleman asked if he was aware that she wasn't the one who objected to Mr. Weiner's motion. Mr. Wu said he would apologize, and didn't recall who it was, but somebody said the bill was being revised because there was an unwillingness to compromise.Um... I think Albert Wu is quite right here. She said exactly what Wu said she said.
The motion Rebecca Coleman is referring to is one where Christian Osmeña read the plain text of the By-Laws:
Any amendment to a Resolved clause that specifies a numerical financial amount must use Robert's Rules "Filling Blanks" procedure, from high to low.to mean what it said when Gabe Weiner sought to change the amount to $150:
On a point of order, Mr. Osmeña asked if they had to go to filling in the blank when they amend an amount. Ms. Allbright said they didn't.Remember, the Senate can't bypass the By-Laws this way. Essentially what is being argued is that:
Mr. Osmeña said Article VI, Section 4.3 states that any amendment to a Resolved Clause was done by filling in the blank. Ms. Allbright said that was for Fi-Comm.
Ms. Allbright said the Chair would refer Sen. Osmeña's point of order to the Senate and asked for a voice-vote of those in favor and against filling in the blank, and noted that the nays prevailed. Ms. Allbright said that procedure was in accordance with Robert's Rules, and was something they could do on a point of order.
The By-Laws require that amendments must use the Robert's Rules procedure for filling the blank.
Robert's Rules allow for changing the rules as you go, while the By-Laws don't.
Therefore, being required by the By-Laws to use a procedure from Robert's Rules means you can choose not do that procedure, in accordance with other procedures from Robert's Rules, despite the fact that those procedures don't apply when the By-Laws say otherwise.
The Senate shall be governed by the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and/or By-Laws.If I was more bored than I am, this would be loads of fun.
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