The Council on Legislation occurs only every three years. This is the only time that Rotary international and the Rotary Foundation can make changes in the governance documents. The Council is made up of representatives from all of the 534 districts worldwide. This year there were 523 certified delegates. Representatives are selected from within each of the Rotary districts and to be qualified, must be a past governor and in good standing with Rotary.
Each of the Council on Legislation has been known to have a special “personality” or trait. This Council has been more progressive in their thinking and willing to make change where needed. This Council also earned the reputation of focusing on and benefitting the members and clubs as their primary objective. It was also noted by veteran members and RI staff that the composition of this group was also younger, and with fewer years in Rotary service than in the past.
It was very interesting to see how international really is. There was simultaneous translation into 8 different languages, and the submitted enactments and resolutions often reflected specific issues that were cultural in origin. I was also pleasantly surprised at how “civil” discussion was during discussion, and respect was evident in almost every dispute.
The Council started on Sunday the 10th of April afternoon and went daily until Friday the 15th in Chicago. It should also be noted that $1.50 is included in every Rotarians annual dues to pay for the Council on Legislation.
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Here is a brief overview of the enactments and resolutions that I feel will be of interest to you. I also have included all the items that were adopted. There was a total of 181 items reviewed. Please note that I included the country, but not the district number to simplify the report.
Club Meetings
Item:                            16-21
Proposing country:      RI Board
Vote Count:                 392-82 (2/3 required to pass/Constitutional change)
Topic:                          Allow flexibility in club meetings and attendance
Intent/Purpose:           Clubs now have the flexibility to decide on meetings being twice monthly, cancellations, and meeting attendance “Exceptions to Provisions on Meetings and Attendance…. Not in accordance with specific article and sections of the bylaws and constitution”.
Item:                            16-36
Proposing Country:     RI Board
Vote Count:                 386-75
Topic:                          Allow for flexibility in membership and classifications
Intent/Purpose:          Clubs can remove or modify membership classification system in their bylaws and allow for "quality individuals" to be considered for membership.
Item:                            16-38
Proposing Country:     USA
Vote Count:                 426-85 (2/3 vote approval for Constitution change)
Topic:                          Revise the provisions for membership
Intent/Purpose:           Clubs can accept "adult persons who demonstrate good character, integrity and leadership…."
Item:                            16-40
Proposing Country:     RI Board
Vote Count:                 413-97 (2/3 vote approval for Constitutional change)
Topic:                          Rotaractors to be active members of Rotary
Intent/Purpose:           Rotaract members can now also be members of a Rotary club, but must still be invited to join by the club. (Dual membership)
Item:                            16-82
Proposing Country:     Japan
Vote Count:                 355-145
Topic:                          Distinction between traditional and e-clubs.
Intent/Purpose:           Language of traditional and e-clubs for meeting purposes are now consistent with each other. Meetings for e-Clubs, Article 6, has been removed, and “or hold a meeting ….. on the club’s website” has been added to Meetings.  E-Clubs will also be given the option of being named with or without the e-Club designation and will use the standard club application.
Finances and Per Capita Dues
Item:                            16-99
Proposing Country:     RI Board
Vote Count:                 317-197
Topic:                          Increase per capita dues
Intent/Purpose:           Without an increase in per capita dues voted on in the 2013 Council, the shortfall became evident, and based on financial projections, a shortfall would occur within the upcoming year. The approved rate for the increase will be as follows:
$28 per half year for 2016-2017
$30 per half year for 2017-2018
$32 per half year for 2018-2019
$34 per half year for 2019-2020
Legislative Procedures
Item:                            16-113
Proposing Country:     Scotland
Vote Count:                 443-67 (2/3 vote required)
Topic:                          Provide for a Council on Resolutions
Intent/Purpose:           The Council on Resolutions will be conducted annually, and shall convene electronically. The Council shall be composed of members of the Council on Legislation following the Council on Legislation for a three year term, or until the successor is selected. This will reduce Council on Legislation workload and reduce meeting time resulting in less cost to Rotary.   
Item:                            16-114
Proposing Country:     RI Board
Vote Count:                 479-23
Topic:                          Provide that the representatives shall serve for a three year term.
Intent/Purpose:           The term of each representative shall begin on July 1st in the year following the year in which they are to be selected. Each representative shall serve for three years or until a successor has been selected and certified.
The Resolutions will be reviewed by the Board for conformance before being enacted.
For more information or questions, please contact: PDG Wade Nomura at