Ask the Parlie

Welcome to the first edition “Ask theParliamentarian.”  At our recent National Labor Academy, NFN President Barbara Crane, RN, CEO Lorraine Seidel, RN, and I discussed the value of the many questions that came forward about parliamentary procedure. In response to member requests, we have created a place members can visit to gain insight on Roberts Rules.If you have questions, please send them to and I’ll do my best to answer as many as possible. As your NFN Parliamentarian, I sincerely hope this is helpful to you.

- Teresa Stone BSN RNC PRP CP

QUESTION: Does “Laying a Motion on the Table” automatically “kill” the motion?

ANSWER: Laying a motion on the table does not kill a motion and is out of order if that is the intent. There are other motions that will kill a motion such as Postpone Indefinitely or Object to Consideration of the Motion. To Lay on the Table, is a motion designed to simply place a motion aside temporarily so that other more urgent business can be conducted such as allowing a speaker to begin who has arrived late/early for a presentation or a business item that was set for a specific time on the agenda. By a majority vote the motion is laid on the table or with a simple: “Without objection the motion is laid on the table.” When the speaker is done, or the urgent business is finished, the tabled motion, again by majority vote or without objection, can be taken from the table. If the meeting is adjourned prior to being taken from the table, it can be accomplished at the next meeting if the next meeting is held within a quarterly time frame. Otherwise, the motion can simply be re-introduced.