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September/october 2009

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Six constitutional amendments were passed by the delegates at the 14th National Convention in Louisville. A detailed description of the changes and the new 2009 Constitution
of Vietnam Veterans of America are now available at on the Constitution Committee page. A brief summary of the changes and their significance follows:

Article I, Section 4 - National Board of Directors, B. 1. A.

The 2009 amendment deleted the following: “Must supply a valid form DD-214 and any other documentation required by a majority of the Board of Directors.”
Significance: This eliminates the requirement for the Chair of the Conference of State Council Presidents to submit a DD-214 or other documents to the Board of Directors prior to being seated on the Board. The credentials of the Chair of the CSCP are established multiple times through the election process at the state level and by the policies and procedures of the CSCP. Thus, submission of the DD-214 is considered redundant.

Article I, Section 7 - Committees, A. 4.

The 2009 amendment added the following: “A committee may revise, amend, or retire an existing resolution relative to that committee based upon developments regarding that resolution made during the committee hearings at the Convention.”
Significance: Prior to reading proposed resolutions at the National Convention, each committee holds a public hearing in which proposed resolutions and other committee issues are discussed by the delegates. This amendment enables committees to respond to events or information reported to them during these hearings. Based on the new information, a committee may elect to ask the Convention delegates to amend, revise, or retire an existing resolution without having to submit it to the Resolutions Committee 120 days prior to the Convention.

Article II, Section 12 - Reporting

The 2009 amendment deleted the following: “sixty (60) days after the council elections and a list of committee chairpersons within one-hundred-twenty (120) days after the council elections” and replaced it with “July 15 of the year in which the elections take place.”
Significance: See Amendment 5 below.

Article III, Section 6 - Officers, E.

The 2009 amendment deleted the last sentence: “He or she shall forward to the office of the Corporation a copy of said form for each duly elected officer and director.”
Significance: The amendment eliminates the requirement to provide newly elected officers’ DD-214s to National and places some of the responsibility for monitoring the eligibility of members on the Chapter.

Article III, Section 9 - Election Results

The 2009 amendment deleted “and a report of committee chairpersons.” It also deleted “sixty (60) days after the Chapter elections,” which was replaced with the following: “July 15 of the year in which the elections take place”
Significance:  This amendment, along with the amendment to Article II, Section 12, standardizes the deadline date for submitting election and financial reports, which should help facilitate monitoring by the national office and eliminate confusion and possibly unnecessary Chapter and State Council suspensions. In addition, State Councils and Chapters are no longer required to report the names of committee chairs to National since the Constitution does not require the establishment of these committees.

Article IV, Section 1 - Finance, A.

The 2009 amendment added the following: “The deadline for filing the State Council or Chapter annual financial report with the Corporation and/or the State Council may be extended three months by submitting a copy of the ‘Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return,’ which was filed with the IRS, to the State Council or Corporation by July 15. This extension only applies to State Councils and Chapters that file an IRS 990 form and not the 990-N.”
Significance: This amendment allows the Finance Department to recognize the automatic three-month extension the IRS gives non-profit organizations filing one of the IRS 990 forms, except the 990-N, which must be submitted to the IRS by July 15.




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