Memorandum Number 663


October 24, 1991

Legality of Certain Wisconsin Conference Budget Procedures.


At the 1991 session of the Wisconsin Annual Conference, Bishop David J. Lawson was asked for a ruling on a question of law:
In light of Judicial Council Decisions 5, 8, 400, 521, 539 and others, is the Annual Conference giving up a right reserved to it by describing the seven items on the 1992 budget request of the Board of Global Ministries as "line items" rather than the items listed under "line items presented for information only?"

Bishop Lawson ruled:

It is the judgment of the Chair that this budget is properly before the Annual Conference through the recommendation of the Council on Finance and Administration, that the attached "For Information Only" document was clearly introduced and discussed as an informational document and was not properly before the Conference as a budget recommendation, that the seven line items of the proposed budget are in fact operational line items for this agency, that the Conference members demonstrated their understanding of the nature of the budget by their discussion of it and the nature of several attempted amendments, that the budget as presented was approved by vote of a large majority of the Conference members, and thus, that the budget and its seven line items is in order and the Annual Conference has not given up any right reserved to itself.

An open hearing was held on October 24, 1991 in Indianapolis. Appearing was Jerry Eckert.

In his ruling, the bishop properly considered the appropriate budget building powers and the diversity among Annual Conferences, as well as the necessary consultations and actions by the Council on Finance and Administration and the Conference Council on Ministries. We find no conflict with the Discipline nor with previous Judicial Council rulings.

The ruling of the Bishop is affirmed.

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