August 8, 2013
The House of Delegates and You:
How our governance system works, and how you can influence decisions made on your behalf
The WSDA House of Delegates will be held this September 19-21 in Chelan, Wash. The House is the legislative body of the WSDA, with full authority to direct and regulate the Association activities within the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. By early September, The Source will have complete HOD coverage, including the schedule, general information, candidate bios, resolutions and reports. An email will be sent to all members alerting them when the information is live. We invite you to contact your delegate if you have questions or want to voice your input on a subject.
The WSDA House of Delegates
The WSDA House of Delegates is similar to the US House of Representatives, with delegates from each component society representing their constituency at the annual event. Delegates vote on resolutions, elect the officers, board and committee members for the WSDA, and the delegates to the ADA House of Delegates. The House adheres to parliamentary procedure, with a Parliamentarian on hand to ensure compliance, and a Speaker of the House to maintain order.
House duties include election of officers, Board of Directors and elective committee members; determination of the time and place of the House of Delegates; receipt and passing reports from officers, standing committees and task forces; the approval of a budget as submitted by the Budget and Finance Committee; and other such duties as provided in the WSDA Bylaws. Once the business of the House of Delegates has been completed, the Board of Directors has general supervision of the business of the Association and is charged with implementing the decisions of the House. The Executive Director is charged with the day-to-day management of the Association, and with ensuring that the wishes of the House of Delegates and the Board are carried out.
Additionally, the House votes on any number of resolutions, which can come from a variety of sources. As outlined in the Bylaws, resolutions may only be submitted by the following: the individual officers of the WSDA, a standing committee or task force of the WSDA, a component society of the WSDA, a petition signed by ten members of the WSDA, or the Board of Directors of the WSDA. Resolutions have to be submitted 30 days prior to the House, although provisions exist which allow for resolutions to be added from the floor.
House activities, by day
On Thursday, the House opens with a critical issues forum, where selected issues or resolutions facing the Association are discussed. This forum includes a presentation of the budget by the chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance and the Secretary-Treasurer. Immediately following the critical issues discussion, a candidate forum is held for board, Committee and ADA delegate positions. The candidates running for office are given an opportunity to speak to the House. This ends the first day.
Delegates must register in the morning, followed by the First Business Session, which includes introductions and welcome speeches, the establishment of rules for the House, presentations and reports given by officers, the Washington Oral Health Foundation (WOHF), the Washington Dentists’ Insurance Agency (WDIA), the Northwest Dentists Insurance Company (NORDIC), University of Washington School of Dentistry, the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference, and others. It is during the Friday session that candidates for officer positions will debate. Later, the Reference Committees hold hearings where delegates are encouraged to discuss all resolutions before the House, and make recommendations for amendments or changes when warranted. The primary duty of a Reference Committee is to recommend to the House of Delegates an appropriate course of action on the matters that have been placed before it. Following the hearings, Reference Committee members meet privately for further discussion, fulfilling its obligations only when it takes into consideration all of these factors and advises the House to adopt, amend, postpone, or reject a recommendation which has been placed before it. Each Reference Committee then creates a report that is made available to delegates later that evening.
Delegates register in the morning before the Second Business Session begins. The election process begins with a review of the candidates nominated at the first business session. At this time, the House can entertain nominations for additional candidates from the floor, followed by the elections. Then, Reference Committees present their reports to the House, and discussion/debate regarding resolutions is allowed on the floor. Following the discussion, resolutions are voted on, officers are sworn in and the business of the House ends.