To amend the speaking order process to take two requests for information at a time in rotation with speakers for and against a motion.

Rule 3. Order of Business and Debate

H. Speaking Order/Closing Debate

Requests for information shall be taken in turn: one speaker for; one speaker against; two requests for information.

No member speaking on a question may move to close debate.

A motion to close debate shall apply to no more than the single question immediately before the Representative Assembly.

Before a motion to close debate will be considered, the Chair will recognize at least one speaker in support and one speaker in opposition if speakers have called in on the motion on the floor.

Impact Statement

NEA Standing Rule 3(B) states that “The annual session of the Representative Assembly shall be conducted in accordance with provisions of the NEA Constitution, Bylaws, and these Standing Rules. Matters not specifically governed in these documents shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.” As the NEA governing documents do not address consideration of requests for information, Robert’s Rules governs current practice.

Under Robert’s Rules of Order, a request for information is a request directed to the chair, or through the chair to another person, for information relevant to the business at hand. The request takes precedence and must be addressed before the chair recognizes speakers in favor or in opposition to the motion at hand. Requests for information called in during debate immediately move to the front of the speaking order. Once all requests for information and parliamentary inquiries are addressed, the chair turns to speakers for and against, rotating one speaker in favor and one in opposition.

In 2015, the chair recognized 219 requests for information. The number of requests for information has remained consistent in recent years, with 219 in 2013 and 223 in 2014.

Should the proposed amendment pass, it would supersede Robert’s Rules of Order. Under the amendment, requests for information would be taken in rotation – two at a time – along with speakers for and against the motion. Thus, such requests would no longer take precedence in the speaking order. Speakers would be called in rotation – one speaker for the motion, one speaker against the motion, and two requests for information. This rotation would continue until all speakers for and against and all requests for information were addressed, or until the body moved to close debate.

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Paul Kleeman, NV

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