Standing Board Policy 100 (Legislative Policy and Procedure)
Organization of the State Bar & Admissions / Standing Board Policy 100 (Legislative Policy and Procedure)
LEGISLATIVE POLICY AND PROCEDURE
ADOPTED BY BOARD OF GOVERNORS JUNE 14, 1986,
AMENDED JUNE 20, 1992, JUNE 18, 1994
1.01. General Legislative Policy.
- The Bylaws set forth the restrictions on establishing a legislative policy. Article II, Section 6 of the Bylaws provides that:
No legislation shall be recommended, supported or opposed by the State Bar unless:
In addition to and in aid of these legislative powers, the Board shall have the power to adopt, by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board present and voting, a Standing Board Policy regarding legislation. Such Standing Board Policy shall be binding from session to session unless suspended, modified or rescinded pursuant to a two-thirds vote of the members of the Board present and voting.
- such action has been initiated by an appropriate committee or section, or by any ten members of the Board of Governors; and
- the text of the legislation is furnished to the President, the President-elect and the Advisory Committee on Legislation at least thirty days prior to its submission for support or opposition as set forth below; and
- provided further:
- that such legislative position receives a majority vote of the members of the State Bar present at a meeting; or
- that such legislative position receives a two-thirds vote of the members of the Board of Governors present and voting; or
- when the Board of Governors is not in session, such legislative position receives a two-thirds vote of the members of the Executive Committee voting.
No committee or section of the State Bar shall recommend, support or oppose any legislation except in the manner herein provided.
- No legislative position shall be taken by the State Bar or any committee, section or other organizational element thereof except as provided for in this policy. Committees, sections or other organizational elements of the Bar are encouraged to debate and discuss legislation relating to their areas of expertise and to let the Advisory Committee on Legislation know of their positions. The ultimate position of the State Bar, however, will be determined pursuant to this Policy.
- A legislative position, once adopted, shall remain an official position of the State Bar during the full biennial session of the General Assembly in which it was adopted unless rescinded or modified.
- Failure to receive a necessary two thirds vote to favor or oppose legislation shall not be considered adoption of the contrary position.
- All legislative positions adopted by the State Bar shall be reduced to writing and communicated to the General Assembly as the organizational positions of the State Bar.
- The Advisory Committee on Legislation, the Board, or the Executive Committee may allow any interested person to appear before it in person and in writing in support of or in opposition to any legislative proposal being considered subject to reasonable limitations on available time.
- The Board and Executive Committee shall have authority to take reasonable action necessary to communicate and advocate legislative positions adopted pursuant to the Bylaws and this policy.
- The Board or the Executive Committee shall have the authority to designate persons to promote State Bar legislative positions. Persons so designated shall be authorized to agree to and to support amendments and substitute legislation which are consistent with legislative positions previously adopted pursuant to the Bylaws and this Policy. No section, committee or other Bar-related organization shall hire or designate any persons or entities to promote State Bar or their own legislative positions nor shall such sections, committees or Bar-related organization expend any funds of the section, committee or organization in the support of or opposition to any legislative positions unless expressly approved by the Board of Governors or the Executive Committee. Should the Board of Governors or the Executive Committee approve such expenditures, the funds of the section, committee or Bar-related organization shall be paid into the Legislative Advocacy Fund.
- Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prevent members of the State Bar from presenting their own personal views concerning any legislative matter and members are encouraged to do so while making clear that they are speaking only in their personal capacity.
1.02. Board of Governors.
- Consideration of any legislative proposal by the Board shall proceed in the following order:
- A written proposal shall be presented by an appropriate committee or section or by any 10 members of the Board to the Advisory Committee on Legislation, the President, the President-elect, and each member of the Executive Committee at least 30 days prior to a meeting of the Board. Such proposal shall, as a minimum, include the following:
- the specific legislation, if any, which is pending or proposed;
- if no specific legislation is pending or proposed, a statement of the issues to be addressed by the legislation;
- a summary of the existing law;
- principal known proponents or opponents of the legislation and, if possible, a brief statement of the reasons for opposition or support by the other interests;
- a listing of any other committees or sections which may have an interest in the legislation and a certification that any such committees have been provided a copy of the proposal simultaneous to its transmission to the Advisory Committee on Legislation; and
- the position which the committee, section or group recommends be adopted by the State Bar.
- The Advisory Committee on Legislation, after consideration of the legislative proposal in accordance with Rule 1.04 of this policy, shall make a written recommendation concerning the proposal to the Board at its next meeting. A copy of the written recommendation shall be furnished to each member of the Executive Committee at least ten (10) days prior to the Board meeting.
- The Board shall determine specifically by a majority vote of members present and voting whether the proposed legislative action is germane to the legitimate purposes of the State Bar.
- If the determination in section (3) above is affirmative, then at least two thirds of the members of the Board present and voting must vote to recommend, to support, or to oppose the legislative proposal.
- Legislative positions may be considered and adopted by the Board at any special or regular meeting.
1.03. Executive Committee.
- Consideration of any legislative proposal by the Executive Committee shall proceed in the following order:
- a proposal adopted by the Advisory Committee on Legislation or from a member of the Executive Committee shall be presented;
- the Executive Committee shall specifically determine by a majority of members voting whether the proposed legislative action is germane to the legitimate purposes of the State Bar;
- if the determination in subsection (2) above is affirmative, then the Executive Committee shall then determine by a majority vote of those voting either that (i) the requested legislative action could not reasonably have been submitted for consideration by the Board of Governors in accordance with existing policies, or: (ii) that a significant material change in circumstances since the last Board of Governors has made the Executive Committee action necessary;
- if either determination in subsection (3) above is affirmative, at least two thirds of the members of the Executive Committee voting must vote to recommend, to support, or to oppose the legislative proposal.
- The Executive Committee shall take no action inconsistent with previous action of the Board on substantially identical legislation unless there has been a significant material change in circumstances since the last meeting of the Board of Governors. The failure to receive the required two thirds vote of the Board of Governors shall not be considered "previous action" by the Board.
- If any emergency exists and is not feasible for the Executive Committee to act, then the president, upon consultation with and agreement by any two from among the president-elect, the immediate past president and the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Legislation may act upon pending or proposed legislation.
- Any action taken by the Executive Committee or president shall be reported to the Board at its next meeting.
1.04. Advisory Committee on Legislation.
- Structure--The Advisory Committee shall be composed of at least nine members, at least six of whom shall be members of the Board at the time of their appointment and the Immediate Past President.
- Initial Terms--The nine members of the Advisory Committee appointed to serve effective July 1, 1986, shall be appointed for initially staggered terms as set out below:
- three members, including two members of the Board, shall be appointed by the immediate past president for one-year terms.
- three members, including two members of the Board, shall be appointed by the president for two-year terms.
- three members, including two members of the Board, shall be appointed by the president-elect for three year terms.
- the chairman shall be appointed by the president.
- Terms--Commencing July 1, 1987, the president-elect shall appoint three members, at least two of whom shall be members of the Board at the time of their appointment, to three-year terms and shall name a chairman-elect. The chairman-elect shall become chairman when the president-elect becomes president. The President, upon consultation with and agreement by the President-elect shall have the power to appoint additional voting members to the Advisory Committee who shall serve during the one-year term of his presidency. However, in any event at least two-thirds of this Committee will be members of the Board at the time of their appointment.
- The Advisory Committee will meet for the purpose of developing its recommendations to the Board and Executive Committee with regard to requests to adopt a legislative position.
- In each case involving a proposed legislative position, the Advisory Committee shall make a recommendation to the Board or the Executive Committee on the following:
- whether the proposed legislative action is germane to the legitimate purposes of the State Bar; and
- the legislative position which the Board or Executive Committee should adopt.
- In addition to the above, the Advisory Committee shall also have the authority to draft and submit to the Board or the Executive Committee, legislative concepts which may or should be the subject of legislation and recommend positions with respect thereto.
- When the General Assembly is in session, appropriate committees and sections of the State Bar may submit legislative proposals to the Advisory Committee for approval by the Executive Committee. All such proposals, however, shall be in writing and satisfy the format requirements set forth in subsection (a)(1) of Rule 1.02 of this policy.
- The Advisory Committee shall review all legislation filed in the State Legislature which would require an amendment to the State Constitution. The Advisory Committee shall determine whether the State Bar should take a position pursuant to this policy regarding the proposed constitutional amendment.
- All matters concerning contract and finance shall be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.
1.05. Legislative Drafting and Consulting Services.
- The State Bar, at the sole discretion of the Executive Committee, may provide legislative drafting, legal research and other similar services to the Office of the Governor and members of the Georgia General Assembly. THE DECISION BY THE STATE BAR TO PROVIDE SUCH SERVICES DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT BY THE STATE BAR OF ANY LEGISLATION REVIEWED OR DRAFTED.
- All requests for legislative drafting or consulting services should be directed to the President of the State Bar who shall immediately place the request on the agenda of the next Executive Committee Meeting.
- Consideration of any legislative drafting or consulting request by the Executive Committee shall proceed in the following order:
- the president shall present the request for legislative drafting or consulting services to the Executive Committee;
- the Executive Committee shall specifically determine by a majority of members voting that the drafting, research or review of the proposed legislation would not be adverse to the interests of the State Bar;
- if the determination in subsection (ii) above is affirmative, then the Executive Committee shall determine by majority vote whether or not to provide such services;
- if the determination in subsection (iii) above is affirmative, the Executive Committee shall refer the matter to the Legislative Research Committee, or other appropriate State Bar committee or section.
- Should any emergency exist and it is not feasible for the Executive Committee to act, then the President, upon consultation with and agreement by any two from among the President-elect, the immediate past President, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Legislation or the Chair of the Legislative Research Committee, may act upon the pending request for legislative drafting or consulting services.
- The final copy of any proposed legislation drafted by any member or members of the State Bar under this provision shall contain the following disclaimer at the head of the first page, unless the proposed legislation has been considered under the provisions of section 1.01 through 1.04 above: "The State Bar of Georgia has drafted the following proposed legislation as a service to the Georgia General Assembly and the Office of the Governor. The State Bar takes no position either for or against the enactment of such legislation unless the legislation is approved under the provisions of the State Bar of Georgia's Standing Board Policy 100."
- Whenever the Executive Committee grants a request to provide legislative drafting or consulting services under this rule, the President, or his or her designee, shall report to the next meeting of the Board of Governors the nature of the referral and current status.
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