Posted by Jim Forestell on May 01, 2019
From April 14 -18 2019 Rotary held its triennial meeting of the Council on Legislation in Chicago to review and vote on proposed changes to the legislation that governs Rotary. The delegates considered proposed amendments submitted by clubs and districts during the past two years to change Rotary’s Constitution, the Bylaws and Standard Rotary Club Constitution plus position statements by the RI Board.
Five-hundred and thirty-two of a possible 538 district representatives attended the Council and considered 117 proposed changes.  A representative from the sponsoring district moves each enactment, debated and voted. Forty-six enactments were adopted; unfortunately, the one from District 5550  was not successful.
Some of the adopted changes were:
  • To limit the term of club President to a one-year extension
  • To allow up to one year for a make-up for missed meetings
  • To amend some particular aspects of selecting a President of RI
  • To remove classification limits and allow holders of public office to remain, members of a club,
  • To make the General Secretary the CEO of RI
  • To remove the name of the official magazine (The Rotarian) from the Bylaws and give the Board the ability to change the name to simply “Rotary.”
  • To admit Rotaract clubs to RI membership, giving them the same rights and privileges as Rotary clubs
  • To increase per capita dues to US$34 per half year in 2019/20; US$34.50 in 2020/21; US$35 in 2021/22; and US$35.50 in 2022/23 and after that
  • To rename the General Surplus Fund to the RI Reserve and change the process for establishing it
  • To allow the Board to make changes to RI’s tax status, and finally
  • To modernise and streamline the Bylaws of RI and the Standard Club Constitution without substantial changes.
The approved changes come into effect on July 1 2019. The next opportunity to enact new legislation will be in 2022. The district representative serves for three years with the next representative selected at the district conference in 2020. Representatives must be past officers of RI in the district, that is PDGs.
It was interesting to note that in some districts, mostly outside North America, there are fiercely contested battles to be District Governor, so much so that there were several proposed enactments to cover nominations, vacancies and challenges. Our district is fortunate to be able to choose the best-qualified Rotarian without these problems.
Please direct questions about the Council to the current District 5550 representative, PDG Jim Forestell at