ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Sec. 1. Election of officers shall be by ballot, a majority of votes cast shall be necessary to elect. When there are more than two candidates for an office and one candidate does not receive a majority, the two candidates getting the most votes shall be placed on a second ballot. When there is but one candidate for an office, the ballot may be dispensed with and the nominee declared elected.
Sec. 2.Candidates for Department office shall be nominated from the floor of Department Convention twenty-four (24 hours before election. See Standing Rule Item VIII, Section 5.
Sec. 3.All Department officers, members of the Department Executive Committee and all standing committees shall be in good standing in their local Units.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Sec. 1.(a) Department President: It shall be the duty of the Department President to preside at all meetings of the Department Convention assembled and the Department Executive Committee and to appoint standing committees, and to create such other committees and appoint members thereon as she deems advisable, and to appoint all Officers, representatives to non-VA medical facilities and VA medical facilities (appointments of VA medical facility representatives shall be made upon the recommendation of the Department Finance Committee) not otherwise provided for, with the approval of the Department Executive Committee. She shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees and shall perform such other duties as are usually incident to the Office. She shall be charged with the responsibility of executing the mandates of the Department Convention and the Executive Committee.
The Department President shall not waive her rights to the Department Secretary-Treasurer or any other person permitting the signing of her name to applications for Charters issued by the National Headquarters or any other legal document pertaining to the Department. In case of the resignation, death, suspension or removal from office of the Department President, the Department 1st Vice President shall immediately take office and assume all the duties of the President until the close of the next Department Convention.
(b) In case of inability of the Department Secretary- Treasurer to perform her duties, the Department President, Chairman of the Finance Committee or Department 1st Vice President may perform her duties in an emergency. Other than the Department Secretary-Treasurer, two signatures are required for withdrawal of funds or entry into any lock boxes or depository of Auxiliary properties.
Sec. 2.The Department 1st Vice-President shall perform such services as may be required of her by the Department President and as may be outlined in the Standing Rules of the Department of Florida, and shall represent the Department President when requested to do so by the Department President. It shall be the duty of the Department 1st Vice-President to immediately assume the duties of the office of President upon the resignation, death, suspension, or removal from office of the Department President. When assuming the Presidency under these circumstances, she is eligible to become a candidate for a full term as Department President.
Sec. 2a The duties of the Department 2nd Vice-President shall be to serve as the Department Veterans Affair and Rehabilitation chairman and to visit all VA facilities including Outpatient Clinics and State Veterans Nursing Homes.
Sec. 2bThe duties of the Department 3rd Vice-President shall be to serve as the Department Children and Youth Chairman and to visit all children facilities sponsored by the Department.
Sec. 3aThe Department Secretary-Treasurer shall conduct all official correspondence under the direction of the Department President. She shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Department Convention and the Department Executive Committee meetings. She shall also be responsible for the distribution of all Department bulletins and handle all secretarial and clerical duties incumbent upon her office. She shall receive and keep a record of all monies received from the Units and other sources. She shall be the custodian of the funds of the Department organization and shall account for same. She shall sign all checks disbursing funds, as prescribed by the Department, make quarterly reports upon the condition of the Department funds to the Department President and Department Finance Committee. The accounts shall be audited annually by a Certified Accountant. She shall perform all other duties incident to the office.
Sec. 3bThe Department Secretary-Treasurer will be responsible for hiring and terminating office staff and will maintain all employment records. She will notify the Department President of any changes in personnel. All payroll must stay within the approved budget.
Sec. 4.The Department Chaplain shall officiate as such at the Department Conventions, and shall perform such other duties ordinarily incident to the office.
Sec. 5. The Department Historian shall compile the historical records of the Department organization and make a report to the National Historian.
Sec. 6.District Presidents shall be in charge of the affairs of the American Legion Auxiliary Units in their Districts under the direction of the Department President. It shall be the duty of the District Presidents to encourage and promote in every way, the growth, welfare and accomplishments of the Units, they shall be charged with the responsibility of coordinating the activities of the Units and assisting in the organization of new Units in their Districts. The District Presidents shall preside at all District meetings during the year.
DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Sec. 1.The administrative and executive powers shall be vested in the Department Executive Committee. The Department Executive Committee shall have the power and authority in case of emergency to call a Department Convention, provided that notice of at least 30 days prior thereto be given all Units, and the reason stated for calling such Convention. Place of the meeting upon such occasion shall be designated by the Department Executive Committee. The Department Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint subcommittees on such matters delegated to it. The Department Executive Committee shall have authority to remove Department paid personnel for cause.
Sec. 2.The Department Executive Committee shall meet within twenty-four hours preceding the Department Convention and within twenty-four hours after new officers have been installed and thereafter at the call of the Department President, providing that notice of at least two weeks prior thereto shall be given to all members of the Committee.
Sec. 3. A quorum for the Department Executive Committee shall be a majority of the membership of the Department Committee.
Sec. 1.The Department President shall appoint chairmen of standing committees which are named by the National President and such other committees as she shall deem necessary or advisable, said Chairmen to be ratified by the elected members of the Department Executive Committee and the Past Department Presidents.
Sec. 2.There shall be a standing Finance Committee that shall consist of eight (8) members. The Committee shall be composed of the Department President, Department 1st Vice-President (with a voice, but no vote), Department 2nd Vice President (with a voice, but no vote), Department 3rd Vice President (with a voice, but no vote), Immediate Past Department President and three members. The Department President shall appoint a Committee member to serve a three (3) year term, and said appointee to be experienced in financial matters. No appointee shall serve successive terms. The Finance Committee shall meet at the call of the Committee Chairman, with the approval of the Department President, or at the call of the Department President.
The Department Finance Committee shall oversee the general financial policy of the Department organization, subject to the approval of the Department Executive Committee. It shall be charged with the preparation of the yearly budget which shall be voted on by the Convention assembled; shall supervise the expenditure of funds under the budget, and shall receive resignations and applications for the Department Secretary – Treasurer. (See Constitution, Article VII, Officers, Section 2.)
Sec. 3.There shall be a standing Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee of two (2) members to consist of a Service to Veterans member and one other member. Each member shall be appointed for a one-year term. The Chairman shall be responsible for all monthly activity reports from the representatives of the seven (7) VA Medical Centers and the representatives of the Outpatient Clinics. The Service to Veterans committee member shall receive all activity reports for the six (6 ) State Veterans Nursing Homes. Field Service Volunteers shall compile and send yearly reports directly to the Service to Veterans committee member. The Service to Veterans committee member shall receive report forms from Unit members with Service to Veteran hours. The VA & R Committee’s budget and recommendations shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Department Finance Committee for the Committee’s approval and inclusion in the Department’s overall Budget, at least forty-five (45) days prior to the Department Convention.
Sec. 4.There shall be a Children and Youth Committee of three (3) members. The children’s medical facility representatives are responsible to the Chairman of this committee.
Sec. 5.There shall be a standing Girls State Committee of five (5) members to include a Chairman, two (2) committee members, Director and Assistant Director. The Chairman and two (2) committee members will serve staggered three (3) year terms, one (1) member appointed each year by the Department President. No Committee appointee shall serve successive terms. The Girls State Director and Assistant Director shall be appointed by the Department President for a one (1) year term subject to ratification by the Department Executive Committee. In the event a vacancy occurs on the committee, the Department President shall fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term vacated. The Girls State Chairman, Director and Assistant Director shall prepare and submit a committee budget (to include the Girls State session) to the Chairman of the Department Finance Committee for the committee’s approval and inclusion in the Department’s overall budget, at least forty-five (45) days prior to Department Convention.
Sec. 6.There shall be a Public Relations Committee of three (3) members.
Sec. 7.There shall be an Education Committee of three (3) members. The Education Committee shall submit to the Chairman of the Department Finance Committee its recommendations for all Scholarship Awards, and its proposed Budget, at least forty-five (45) days prior to Department Convention.
Sec. 8.There shall be a National Security Committee of three (3) members.
Sec. 1. Units shall be chartered by the National President and National Secretary upon receipt of the charter application executed and accompanied by the per capita dues and individual membership record forms. Application for Unit Charters shall be signed by the Department President, the Commander and Adjutant of The American Legion Post to which the Unit is attached and, said charter shall be closed thirty days after same has been signed by the Post Commander.
Sec. 2.The minimum membership of a Unit shall be ten senior members.
Sec. 3.Units shall be given the name and number of The American Legion Post to which they are attached.
Sec. 4.Each Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to restrictions of the Constitution and Bylaws except that no person who is a member of an organization which has for its aim the overthrow of the United States Government by force, violence, or who subscribes to the principles of any group opposed to our form of government, shall be eligible to become or remain a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Sec. 5. The National Executive Committee may suspend or revoke the Charter of a Unit which violates the National Constitution and Bylaws or any specified action of the National Convention or of the National Executive Committee.
Sec. 6. All officers of the Units, with the exception of the Secretary, who may be appointed by the President, shall be elected annually not more than ninety days nor less than fifteen days prior to the Department Convention, said officers shall be certified to the Department Headquarters not less than ten days prior to the Department Convention, certification to be made on forms furnished by the Department Headquarters. Installation shall be at a time coincident with The American Legion Post to which it is attached. In the event of a vacancy caused by death, resignation or removal from office, the name and address of the successor shall be promptly reported to the Department Headquarters within one week after the vacancy is filled.
Sec. 7.All Units shall adopt a Constitution and Bylaws conforming to the Department and National Constitution and Bylaws of the American Legion Auxiliary. Send two (2) copies for approval to the Department Constitution Bylaws Chairman every five (5) years. Both copies must be signed by the Unit President and either the Unit Constitution and Bylaws Chairman or the Unit Secretary, showing the date of Unit approval.
Sec. 7a. Send two (2) copies of the Standing Rules for approval to the Department Constitution and Bylaws Chairman whenever changes are made. Both copies must be signed by the Unit President and either the Unit Constitution and Bylaws Chairman or the Unit Secretary, showing the date of Unit approval.
Sec. 8. A new Unit shall adopt a Constitution and Bylaws and submit two (2) copies to the Department Constitution and Bylaws Chairman not later than sixty (60) days after receiving their permanent charter.
Sec. 9. All Units shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida. Copy of approved articles to be on file at Department Headquarters.
Sec. 10. All Units are required to file an annual (990, 990EZ, or 990N) report with the IRS. Copy of annual report to be on file at Department Headquarters.
Sec. 1. The revenue of the Department shall be derived from the annual dues of members and by such other means as may be determined by the Department Executive Committee. Each annual Department Convention shall determine the amount of Department dues for each succeeding fiscal year.
Sec. 2. The annual National dues as determined by the National Convention each year shall be collected by the Unit and paid through the Department Headquarters to the National Treasurer whenever the same becomes due and payable.
Sec. 3.Annual dues shall be payable annually for the succeeding calendar year. A member failing to pay such annual dues by January 31st shall be classed as delinquent and shall be suspended from all membership privileges.
Payment of back dues after suspension shall reinstate such member to active membership. Any member delinquent to December 31st of the year of delinquency shall automatically be dropped from the roles and may not thereafter be reinstated without vote of the Unit, where the Constitution of the Unit requires a vote on application for membership and the payment of all past dues, or be reestablishing eligibility and making application as a new member.
Sec. 4. Each Unit shall be required to remit all Department and National dues collected and unreported to Department Headquarters at least once each month.
Sec. 5.All monies of the Department for any and all purposes whatsoever, shall be received and disbursed by the Department Secretary-Treasurer.
Sec. 1.All Department Subsidiary Organizations of the American Legion Auxiliary shall be subject to regulations of the action of the Department Executive Committee.
Sec. 2.All Department Subsidiary Organizations shall have Department dues no higher than the Department Auxiliary dues, and said subsidiary organization shall be required to file a complete financial statement of receipts and expenditures with the Department President and the Department Finance Committee before each Department Convention.
Sec. 3.All Department Subsidiary Organizations, Proposed Budget and Financial Statements or receipts and expenditures shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Department Finance Committee, for the Committee’s approval, 45 days prior to the Department Convention. Pursuant to Section 2, Article VII, of the Department Bylaws, the required financial statement or receipts and expenditures shall be submitted prior to the Department Convention.
Sec. 1.The Department Executive Committee by a two-thirds vote may order the suspension of a Unit Charter for a period not to extend beyond the closing of the next succeeding Department Convention, as a disciplinary measure, or pending action relative to a final revocation. A cancellation shall be in order where two or more Units merge, where a Unit voluntarily ceases to function, or under such other conditions as might make such action necessary.
Sec. 2. Any Unit failing to meet the obligations imposed upon it by the Constitution and Bylaws or ruling of the Convention or Executive Committee or ceasing to function from one Department Convention to another as an American Legion Auxiliary Unit, or refusing to pay the per capita tax due Department and National Organizations, shall upon order of the Department President, surrender the Charter. Upon failure to surrender such charter, immediate steps may be taken for its revocation. When any Unit Charter has been revoked or cancelled or when any Unit ceases to function in accordance with this Section, all Unit records and funds shall immediately be forwarded to Department Headquarters.
Upon revocation, cancellation or suspension of the charter of a Unit in the Department of Florida, said Unit shall immediately cease operations and upon revocation, cancellation or suspension shall turn over its charter to the Department President or Department Executive Committee, and the Department Executive Committee is authorized, empowered and directed by and through its duly authorized agent to take possession, custody and control of all records, property, funds, and any other assets of said Unit, provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as requiring the Department to take over or assume any financial responsibility as to such property. Said Department Executive Committee may provide for the transfer of the members in said Unit to other Units of their choice, subject to the approval of such other Unit.
Sec. 3.American Legion Auxiliary Units suffering the revocation of their charters may appeal the decision of the Department Executive Committee to the National Executive Committee.
Sec. 4.Any Unit whose charter has been revoked for misconduct shall be prohibited from applying for a charter in the American Legion Auxiliary for a period of five (5) years from the initial date of the revocation of said charter.
DELEGATES TO NATIONAL CONVENTION
Sec. 1.Each District shall be entitled to one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate.
Sec. 2. The Department President, Immediate Past Department President and Department Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected delegates by reason of their office. Their Alternate Delegates shall be elected from the membership at large at the Department Convention.
Sec. 3. When increased membership entitles the Department of Florida to additional Delegates and Alternate Delegates, such extra Delegates and Alternate Delegates shall be elected from the membership at large at the Department Convention.
Sec. 4. Delegates and Alternate Delegates shall be elected in accordance with the plurality of the votes cast, that is, those receiving the most votes shall be declared elected Delegates, and those receiving the next highest votes shall be declared elected Alternate Delegates.
Sec. 5. The Immediate Past Department President shall be designated as Chairman of the delegation at the National Convention and the Department Secretary-Treasurer shall be designated as the Secretary of the delegation. In the event the Department Secretary- Treasurer is unable to attend the Convention, the Junior Past Department President shall appoint a Convention Secretary to serve in her place. The expense of the appointed Secretary shall be paid on the same basis as a delegate.
Sec. 6. The Chairman of the delegation at the time of the National Convention shall designate elected alternates to fill any vacancies in the delegation.
TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP
Sec. 1. Any member in good standing in a Unit shall be entitled to transfer to another Unit.
Sec. 2. Any member in good standing wishing to transfer to another Unit must present to the new Unit her current membership card. Upon acceptance of the transfer applicant by the new Unit, the Unit Secretary will complete the Member Data Form. The member shall then be entitled to active membership in said Unit. No dues shall be transferred. Transfers after January 31st must pay dues to old Unit before transferring.
Sec. 1.For any violation of the Department or National Constitution, or for conduct improper or prejudicial to the welfare of the Auxiliary or of The American Legion, any member may be expelled from membership or any officer removed from office by two thirds vote at a Unit meeting duly called for that purpose. Said expulsion or removal shall be binding only in the event said member or officer shall have been given fifteen (15) days’ notice in writing by the Unit Executive Committee, of the charges and the hearing thereon. Either party may have the right to appeal to the Department Executive Committee and its action hereon shall be final. The expense of such appeal shall be borne by the appellant.
Sec. 2. No person who has been expelled by a Unit, shall be admitted to membership in another Unit, without the consent of the expelling Unit except that where such consent has been asked for and denied by such Unit, she may then appeal to the Executive Committee of the Department of the expelling Unit for permission to be admitted to membership in another Unit, and shall be ineligible for membership until such permission is granted.
Sec. 3. No member or group of members shall subject the Department to liability without authorization of this Department.
Sec. 4. In dealing with the Department Judge Advocate, the American Legion Auxiliary shall adopt and follow the provisions set forth in Article V, Section 8 of the Bylaws of The American Legion, Department of Florida, to the same extent and as fully as if the same had been incorporated in and made a part of its own Constitution and Bylaws.
Sec. 1. The authority under which all Units of the Department of Florida, American Legion Auxiliary shall function is vested in the Department of Florida’s Constitution and Bylaws and in such Standing Rules as may have been duly adopted and set forth in the Unit Guide of the Department of Florida. Any provision of any Unit Constitution and Bylaws or Standing Rules in conflict with the foregoing authority shall be void.
Sec. 1.The Department organization shall be governed by “Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised,” on all points not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws.
Sec. 1.These Bylaws may be amended at any Department Convention by a vote of two-thirds of the total authorized representation thereat, provided that the proposed amendment shall have been submitted through Headquarters to the Units and members of the Department Executive Committee by mailing to them a least thirty (30) days prior to the convening of the next Department Convention; provided further, that it may be amended by unanimous vote at any Convention, without notice; and provided further, that all proposed amendments shall be read at a regular session of the Convention at least twenty-four hours before the vote is taken thereon.