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From Columbus: Resolutions rise and fall only within Convention confines

By Nicole Seiferth
6/20/2006
[Episcopal News Service]  The clock is ticking. General Convention ends June 21, 6 p.m., at the latest. So what happens to legislation that has not made its way through both houses by the deadline?

The simple answer: resolutions which have not been considered by both houses will, effectively, be dead. Gregory Straub, secretary of General Convention, says that there is always some legislation the houses do not have time to consider. This Convention will be no exception.

Throughout the halls of the Greater Columbus Convention Center June 20, the second-to-last day of Convention, people were discussing whether or not Convention would have time to consider all the Windsor Process resolutions. 

Straub is confident the resolutions will be addressed by Convention. "We've been telling the world in the last several years that the only body that can address the Windsor issues is the General Convention. The Executive Council has addressed the Windsor Report, as has the House of Bishops. Neither has the weight of General Convention.

"Everything else may go by the boards, but the Windsor issues will be addressed. How that will come through at the Convention, I can't tell."

Executive Council, Straub explains, can take up resolutions that do not have funding implications or pending resolutions that were included in the budget but not considered by Convention.

Executive Council is an elected body of the church which governs between General Conventions. It implements programs and policies adopted by General Convention, overseeing the mission and ministry of the church.

As the end of Convention draws near, both houses have ways to make the legislative process move faster. Resolutions to be discharged can be laid aside in order to consider active legislation. Houses can also refer resolutions to interim bodies such as Executive Council and the Standing Commissions for additional study.

The House of Deputies met in legislative session the evening of June 20 to consider more legislation. 

"You'll be surprised," Straub said, "once we put contentious issues [behind us], by how fast things move."