TAKE ACTION! Call your Senator NOW!
S.1639, the American Legion Charter Modernization Act.
(October 5, 2011) The American Legion is now providing its members a new service which allows Legion members to renew their membership and pay their dues online over the Internet. Last year, The American Legion's National Convention adopted an amendment to its National Constitution to authorize this new service.
Prior to this new service, all dues payments flowed to the national organization from posts through our departments. Online renewal has raised a concern, however, that because some dues monies now flow from the national organization to the departments and posts, the national organization has
"control" over those departments and posts.
In order to resolve this "control" issue, The American Legion has sought legislation to change its Corporate Charter to clarify the autonomous, independent nature of American Legion posts and departments. Congress must pass and the president must sign into law any amendment to The American Legion's Corporate Charter.
Senators Jon Tester (MT) and Dean Heller (NV) recently introduced S.1639, The American Legion Charter Modernization Act. This legislation would clarify the autonomous, independent nature of American Legion posts and departments by clarifying what courts have already ruled - that no independent entity of The American Legion is legally responsible for the actions of another and that its posts and departments are independent of the national organization.
We've just been informed the bill has been expedited out of the Judiciary Committee and Leader Harry Reid (NV) will be hotlining it later this afternoon. "Hotlining," as it is called, is meant to be a fast method of passing legislation under a unanimous consent agreement. Assuming there is no objection made by either side, it should clear the Senate later this evening or early tomorrow.
Please call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator's office. Ask for the staff person following this bill. Identify yourself and tell the aide you request the Senator not object to the unanimous consent agreement on S.1639.
Earlier this year, then-National Commander Jimmie Foster said, "It is important to remember that online renewal is a choice, not a mandate. Judging from the number of online renewals so far, the membership seems to like to have that as an option to mailed renewals. More and more, people want to conduct business online, and the Legion is working to provide that convenience while at the same time ensuring the highest standards of security."
Again, please call 202-224-3121 and support The American Legion and The American Legion Charter Modernization Act.
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